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Toby Young to take over as boss of New Schools Network in charge of new free schools

(23 Posts)
daphnedill Sat 29-Oct-16 11:01:11

My flabber is gasted!

This is the man who had to admit he didn't even know how to run one school, never mind advise on new ones.

goldengirl Sat 29-Oct-16 11:09:35

A true Government man then!!!!

vampirequeen Sat 29-Oct-16 16:10:59

It's a well known fact that if you're rich and a well known supporter of the Conservative Party then failure is the perfect stepping stone to promotion.

Penstemmon Sat 29-Oct-16 16:24:53

OMG! Well, typical of the current anti-expert attitude. If you are a doctor you can't advise on health issues etc. Instead let's employ people , who by their own admission were not up to the job, & put them in charge!

No " hard working people's" hard earned tax money being wasted then!

Eloethan Sat 29-Oct-16 16:34:07

He's such a little know-all and yet, from past performance, it appears that he knows very little. That doesn't deter this government from appointing him to a post for which many people will feel he is unqualified and unsuited. He had to stand down from running the free school he started, admitting that it was a lot more complicated than he'd envisaged. So, of course, he's now the natural choice for monitoring the performance of all free schools.

whitewave Sat 29-Oct-16 16:49:57

Dreadful little man

Penstemmon Sat 29-Oct-16 16:54:20!/file/philosophicalcritique.pdf

I wonder what his father, Michael, would think of the situation??

daphnedill Sat 29-Oct-16 17:42:49

I think he would be turning in his urn. His father did have a lasting legacy - the Open University. Goodness knows how young Toby got into Oxford, because it wasn't on merit. He's just written a review of 'I, Daniel Blake' in the Daily Mail, claiming the film doesn't ring true, because the protagonists aren't like the scroungers in 'Benefits Street'.

trisher Sat 29-Oct-16 17:47:45

He's the fourth person to take on the job in seven years, so no-one stays very long. It will be interesting to see how long he lasts. I'll give him nine months. Isn't it funny how everyone thinks it's easy to run schools?

daphnedill Sat 29-Oct-16 17:50:12

Well, they've all spent years in a school, so of course they know all about them. [sarcastic smiley]

daphnedill Sat 29-Oct-16 17:53:03

The curriculum of West London Free School is like something out of a 1950s third rate private school: compulsory Latin, no computers or practical subjects, loads of sport (jolly hockey sticks!). He had to give up on all the extra-curricular activities, because it was impractical to run them and the pupils had no time for homework.

trisher Sun 30-Oct-16 11:26:59

Third rate private school sounds about right for Toby Young. Feel sorry for the kids who are part of this experiment.

suzied Sun 30-Oct-16 12:09:20

His flagship free school has had about 4 different head teachers and an incredibly high staff turnover. Must be good then.

daphnedill Sun 30-Oct-16 15:00:40

I think there is a place for free schools, but not for the reasons West London Free School was set up.

I know of two schools - one a special school and the other a specialist school for autistic children - which were set up by parents, because local authority provision was inadequate (non-existent) and there was definitely a local need.

These schools are very different from schools set up so that local children don't have to go the same comprehensives as their peers. West London Free School reserves places for musical aptitude, makes a big deal about teaching Latin and used to have a very long school day with extra-curriculum activities, which cost parents money, thus it became partially selective.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the model, Toby Young made a hash of it and admitted that running a school was more complicated than he thought. Unbelievable! I wonder how many people would be successful at a job interview, if they admitted that the job is more complicated than they are capable of doing. angry

Ana Sun 30-Oct-16 15:15:42

I know nothing about this bloke, apart from reading the odd newspaper article by him many years ago...but perhaps the line he's taking is that he's learned from his mistakes?

whitewave Sun 30-Oct-16 15:33:03

Haven't you seen him on the television? He is ghastly. Utterly without humour and arrogant and pompous with it.

vampirequeen Sun 30-Oct-16 16:12:03

He may learn from his mistakes but that learning is at the expense of the children in his Free School and now in all Free Schools he monitors.

Common sense says that you need to know something about the medical profession to be able to pontificate about the health service or, like now, it becomes a money led institution where patients needs are not as important as the finances. The same goes for education. How can someone with no knowledge of the education system other than having been a schoolboy once hope to monitor and control what happens within any part of the education system.

It reminds me of an OFSTED inspector who many moons ago when I was a classroom assistant to a very young teacher totally failed to understand the relationship in the classroom or the lesson being taught. It was a science lesson about reflective and non reflective materials. The Y2 children were going to use glue as part of the activity and I took them into the cloakroom to put on their glue and paint shirts. He wanted to know why I, the teacher, had left the room....well I wasn't the teacher...and why the children needed aprons on. I pointed out that Y2 children had a tendency to spread glue on themselves as well as the things they were supposed to be sticking. Later he challenged the teacher on the activity. Turned out he'd never had anything to do with education prior to becoming and inspector so totally failed to understand what was happening.

Hang on, I've just realised that's the way the government like to run the country. As long as you're a good Tory supporter and know nothing about the department they want you to lead then the job is yours.

daphnedill Sun 30-Oct-16 17:13:05

The next head of OFSTED, Amanda Spielman, has no teaching experience. Her appointment was rejected by the Education Select Committee, but Nicky Morgan overruled them.

Eloethan Sun 30-Oct-16 18:39:35

I was thinking exactly the same thing vampirequeen.

If you get people who haven't really got a clue about the department/project they're supposed to be heading up, they are in a very vulnerable position. They don't have the knowledge to challenge anything with any authority (and anyway Toby Young has often been wheeled out as an enthusiastic and unquestioning cheerleader for the Conservatives). Should such appointees be foolish enough to voice any concerns, their services can be dispensed with without any voices of protest being raised. If an acknowledged and reputable expert in his or her field is got rid of, there are rumblings which are never quite dispelled. That's what happened with Professor David Nutt when Alan Johnson sacked him - there was a significant weight of opinion that Nutt knew what he was talking about but he'd been kicked out because his contribution was politically inconvenient.

trisher Sun 30-Oct-16 19:43:58

She's got qualifications in accountancy, that makes you think-"It's all about the money, money!"
And anyway everyone knows anyone can do a job in education. Especially with Nicky Morgan in charge

Penstemmon Sun 30-Oct-16 21:17:27

Ana there are plenty of excellent educationalists with a huge amount of knowledge and understanding about how education institutions work , how children/students learn, what makes a good teacher AND who have the organisational and business understanding too. But they are probably not in the Conservative Party inner circle....

That is why governments (of any persuasion) should not interfere in the minutiae of the professional decisions of education /health etc! just decide on how much money and let the others get on with it!

i can dream..............

trisher Mon 31-Oct-16 10:22:19

It is a bit concerning that the Select committees decision was based partly on her lack of knowledge and commitment in the area of child protection. Possibly schools will manage to ride out the inexperience and incompetence because of dedicated teaching staff, but it doesn't bode well for social services already hugely under pressure and as for the poor children who need protection...As usual the poorest and the most vulnerable will suffer.

daphnedill Mon 31-Oct-16 10:56:12

I agree, trisher. On another thread Sharon Shoesmith has been demonised, because Baby P died 'on her watch'. You would hope that the head of Ofsted would be able to spot weaknesses in local authorities before such tragedies occur.

One of the problems in Haringey was that the authority had been given a 'Good' rating in an inspection just before Baby P's death, but that inspection had been based on ticking boxes and statistics, because that was the information requested. Shoesmith had no social work experience and accepted that everything was OK, because the inspection said it was, despite some of her managers telling her they had concerns.

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector (ie Head of Ofsted) should be able to 'think outside the box' (literally) and have enough understanding to see that tick boxes only evaluate part of any service. Michael Wilshaw (for all his faults) had actually been a Headteacher and isn't afraid of speaking his mind, which is why he and Gove crossed swords a few times.