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York head teacher John Tomsett in talks with Education Secretary Michael Gove
A HEAD teacher from York has held top-level talks with Education Secretary Michael Gove about the Government’s education reforms.
Huntington Secondary School head John Tomsett was among heads from across the country who met Mr Gove at the Department for Education offices in Westminster.
They are members of the Head Teachers’ Round Table (HTRT), a national forum set up last year aimed at revolutionising school education, born out of frustration with current Government educational policy and the Labour opposition response to it.
They had written to Mr Gove asking for a meeting to discuss two main issues – Government changes to secondary school qualifications, where the group has proposed their own English Baccalaureate model; and changes to the way schools are inspected and accessed using league tables.
The meeting involved an hour-long discussion with further talks planned.
Mr Tomsett said the objectives were to ensure Mr Gove was aware of the HTRT’s ongoing work and to secure a commitment to hold more talks.
He said: “Mr Gove was very sharp on some of the key issues around a new over-arching baccalaureate qualification and on the awarding of examination grades. He understands the technical details of grade boundary awards and grade inflation as clearly as many head teachers.
“He has agreed to meet with the HTRT again in a few weeks and is going to invite Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, to the meeting, which we welcome. He listened hard to us and the meeting was challenging, but very cordial.
“We have moved a long way in less than a year, from setting up the HTRT to being in close dialogue with the Secretary of State for Education and hopefully shaping national education policy.
The bottom line is that we all want the same thing – a great education system for this country.”
The English Baccalaureate records GCSE success over the subjects of English, maths, sciences, a modern or ancient foreign language and either history or geography.
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