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Has the schools' revolution stalled?

BY spectator events


April 18, 2013

9:00 am

Church House Conference Centre, Dean's Yard, London SW1P 3NZ


Fiona Millar, education campaigner, and co-founder, Local Schools Network

Andrew Adonis, former minister of state for Education

Toby Young, journalist and a co-founder, three free schools. Speaking on: "The Secret sauce of the most successful schools"

Reeta Chakrabarti, education correspondent, BBC

Alex Burghart, director, Centre for Social Justice

Natalie Evans, CEO, New Schools Network

Barnaby Lenon, chair, Independent Schools Council


In May 2010 Michael Gove was appointed Secretary of State for Education. Three years later we have seen a massive expansion in the number of academies, the introduction of free schools and a complete overhaul of the examination system. It's obvious the English education system has changed - quite possibly forever.

But have all these changes been for the better? And more importantly has Gove lived up to his utopian promises? In 2010 we were promised an outstanding new school on every street corner and a correlation between greater school autonomy and higher standards – but three years on have we actually seen any improvements? And are the reforms safe? What will any future Labour Government do with its education inheritance?

At The Spectator’s annual conference we asked whether Michael Gove has lived up to his promises and hearing from those on the front line, from those who set current education policy and those who hope to after the next General Election. Guests from the around the world came and offered us their take as we decided whether the “Education Revolution” has triumphed, or failed.