Saturday, June 02, 2012

The contradictions of Gove 

Michael Gove, the Secretary of Sate for Education, is either completely confused about reading and learning to read, or else he is poorly advised. On the one hand he is spear-heading a pointless and inappropriate phonics screening test and on the other publicly claiming that 'the more books we can get in the hands of children, the better'. Yet the more books argument actually means a £370,000 scheme to send copies of the King James Bible to schools. Not very likely to address some of the gaps in reading attainment in our schools I would suggest. Might it have been better to use the money to support a book-gifting scheme one wonders? A scheme liked Booked-Up for example, which has proven worth? Whilst the Gove Bible, with it's gold-lettered inscription, finds its way into schools, the Booktrust are obliged to turn book-gifting into book-buying with Bookbuzz (see the commentary from the Schools Library Association). It's the little details that really grate - in interview Gove denied all knowledge of the inscription: 'I have to confess that I didn't know they were going to say 'presented by the secretary for education' until I actually saw the first Bible' - careless I'd say. And presumably he meant the first of this particular version of the Bible.... Anyway, it could have been worse, think of multiple copies for group reading, or the Big Bible for shared reading. Wake up, this is 2012 in multifaith Britain!

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