16 January 2013

Gove visits girls' school and talks about boys toilets

Last Friday Education Secretary, Michael Gove, visited Coombe Girls school in New Malden where he held a Q&A with some of the students.  And a report of this session appears on the school's website.

But the exchange that caught my eye was this one:
What in particular do you look for when you visit schools?

Mr Gove referred us to his list of three things which he looks for whenever he visits a school. One: he prefers to be shown round by the pupils, as they are the most important ones. Two: he wants to see pupils who are engaged and who have a lot to say. Three: he says it's always a good idea to check the boys' toilets, as you can instantly tell from what you see in there how much confidence the students have in the staff!
While I have some sympathy with the view that checking on what goes on behind the scenes is an important part of gauging the quality of an establishment, I can't help wondering whether Michael Gove might have chosen his words a little better?

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