Modern, social media empowered, far-right populism first managed to use the Conservative Party as its trojan horse in 2010, when Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings shut down consultation and all expert voice in the development of education policy (despite having no mandate for this from the manifesto voters had endorsed).
They ran highly organised propaganda to convince the public that they were giving ‘power back to teachers’ in order to distract from the fact that they were concentrating all control of policy and money into their own hands.
Instead of being in any way functional, they pursued pet policies. Many will remember Michael Gove sending bibles to schools. This winter Mark Jenkinson MP has replicated his actions – sending books to primary schools instead of listening to them and working to ensure that their issues and needs are addressed.
During the coalition government I worked tirelessly with the Lib Dems to push back this tide of ignorance, ensuring Gove, Truss and Gibb were removed from the DFE and politicians who listened to evidence came in, establishing the pupil premium and setting up the Chartered College of Teaching to nurture professionalism and representation in teaching. But that tide came crashing in in 2015 and schools have been drowning in ignorant policy ever since.
I still work with the Lib Dems and the Chartered College of Teaching to improve government policy. I also work hard to offer primary teachers some of the support they need on my ‘RebeccaTheMathsLady’ YouTube channel.
County Councillor (Cockermouth North)