The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has heralded the most radical shake-up of teaching in the history of British state education by announcing obscure, fringe subjects like reading, writing and counting would be replaced by skills much more useful for life in modern-day Britain, such as scrimping, scraping and making ends meet.
Mr Gove denied government cuts to education were affecting frontline services in schools, claiming that by completely cutting out the teaching of core curriculum academic subjects such as reading and writing, as well as books, desks, classrooms and even teachers, students will be learning valuable lessons about their futures, such as having to make do without.
Mr Gove explained:
It’s a complete waste of time teaching reading, writing and critical thinking to people who are barely going to be able to find jobs as cleaners, given the current state of the jobs market under this government. Much better to teach children, especially if they come from families who don’t have much money, that they will have to get used to making do with virtually nothing at all, particularly when it comes to getting help from the government.
The Education Secretary went on to explain his proposals were also designed to ensure that children in state education would be unable to compete with children in private education:
It’s natural to want to do the best for your kids and by ensuring children from poorer families can’t read and write, there will be a massive reduction in competition for places in universities, which will obviously benefit the children of richer people, such as Tory MPs like me, for example.
When asked why he, as one of the only members of the government to have attended a state school, would like to reduce standards of academic education from similar backgrounds, Mr Gove explained:
It’s true that I understand much better than most of my cabinet colleagues how hard it can be when schools are underfunded. That is why I’m allowing taxpayers’ money to be redirected from state schools to private schools so children like mine will have a head start over the majority of kids who can’t afford to go to them.
A spokesperson for government coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, sought to assure the public that their party was looking to protect the poorest children from the worst effects of government cuts to state education:
We can assure everyone who may be worried by these cuts to school budgets that the Liberal Democrats will do everything we can to ensure the poorest children are protected – first of all by announcing how cross we are about it, then by giving some interviews where we express our doubts about the plans, before completely giving in and allowing the Tories to do what the f*** they want with your children’s education.
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