Schoolzone blog: Does anyone in government know anything about schools?

Does anyone in government know anything about schools?


14 Oct 2014


Following Tristram Hunt's teachers oaf comments earlier this week, the shadow education secretary attracted a barrage of commentary on Twitter: one comment included an exhortation for any future government to recruit an education secretary with some experience of comprehensive education - Hunt being privately educated. Which got us wondering what experience the previous encumbents have had, so a quick bit of desk-based research (it's part of our job, you know) revealed the following, going back 40 years. What kind of school did they go to or even work in? Colours denote party membership.

  • Nicola Morgan - private
  • Michael Gove - private
  • Ed Balls - private
  • Alan Johnson - grammar
  • Ruth Kelly - private
  • Charles Clarke - private
  • Estelle Morris - grammar, but taught in inner city school for 18 years. Resigned
  • David Blunkett - specialist school for the blind; also has a PGCE
  • Gillian Shephard - grammar, but also a teacher and Education Inspector
  • John Patten - grammar
  • Kenneth Clarke - private
  • John MacGregor - private
  • Kenneth Baker - grammar
  • Sir Keith Joseph - private
  • Mark Carlisle - private
  • Shirley Williams - private
  • Fred Mulley - private
  • Reginald Prentice - private
So, the only education secretary with any real experience in comprehensive schools was Estelle Morris, who resigned her post. 12 out of 18 were privately educated - split equally between Labour and Conservative.

But does this signify anything? Would we expect the Health Secretary to have been a doctor/nurse etc?

Which of the above would you say had been the best person in the job? Comment box below.




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