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David Gumbrell
Mark Deacon


David Gumbrell was a Primary headteacher in a successful London school when Michael Gove was Education Secretary. He is now a successful writer, trainer and academic with a special interest in teacher induction, development and wellbeing. The following are some of his reflections from the position of school leadership on what he sees as fundamental flaws in Gove’s leadership of education. Whilst, Gumbrell remains aware of potential unconscious bias he uses trust as the pivot, for his reflections. He states ‘I hope to mitigate the inevitable emotional attachment to my profession and my view as to the effect that Michael Gove has had upon it, both at the time and also the resultant legacy of his ministerial post.
Gove was and remains a polarising figure. For some Gove was the saviour of high-quality education, others regarded him as a ‘vandal’, busy sacking the person-centred education which had built up and refined since Plowden. Although never a consensus view, many teacher expressed their dismay at the reforms to the accreditation structure, curriculum, schemes of assessment and opportunities to control schools brought in by Gove.

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