I have some sympathy with efforts to set high standards and expectations for all pupils.  However, turning the clock back twenty years and re-creating the old O-levels for some with a lesser qualification for the rest is not necessarily the way to do it.

What would be the biggest reorganisation of the secondary school curriculum will no doubt be debated widely when proposals finally emerge rather than being briefed/leaked by the Department for Education.

In the meantime, what is interesting is the silence of Sarah Teather, the Schools Minister.

A silence that is particularly notable given the way in which other Liberal Democrats from Nick Clegg down (if such a concept makes sense) have been frothing at the mouth over Gove’s proposals.

As the Minister responsible for schools in the Department for Education, it would have been reasonable to assume that she must have been aware of the development of such radical changes.

If she did, she somehow didn’t have the political nous to realise that they might be a tad controversial and talk to some of her LibDem colleagues about them.

The alternative is that she is so completely side-lined in the Department that it calls into question what she does for her Minister of State’s salary.

So – which is it? Complicit and naive or a total waste of space?

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