Saturday, 25 June 2011


Michael Gove MP, 'a whirlwind of ideas all delivered with perfect lucidity.'
To give this lunch its full title it was 'To Mark the Continuing Importance of Education to the City and the Nation.'  It was hosted by the Lord Mayor and included a very wide cross-section of guests: CEOs of the big City-based companies, Livery Companies with a major involvement in education, heads of major schools with a City or Livery link, representatives from a wide variety of educational charities as well as representatives from the civic City.  Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, was the principal guest and speaker.   David Levin, headmaster City of London School and currently Chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference - the first time a head of the City of London School has held this appointment - also spoke.

Michael Gove continues to be a whirlwind of ideas all delivered with perfect lucidity. His particular theme at the lunch was that the independent sector must do more to help raise standards in the less well performing maintained schools.  In fact the Livery Companies do a lot already and the Mercers and Haberdashers were singled out in the Economist's Bagehot column on 25 June as being leaders in this field.  The Drapers do not run education on the scale of either of these fellow members of the Great XII.  Nevertheless even though our Drapers' Academy is not quite a year old we are already beginning to see links develop with Bancroft's School as well as with other Drapers' schools and universities further away.  

Those who have read this blog from its start last summer will recall that Michael Gove, in his first few weeks in office, certainly caused us considerable disquiet when it appeared that he might cancel the Drapers' Academy new buildings.  At that time he was not particularly popular - a measured understatement - with the Academy project team.  But this is now all behind us.  I do not agree with everything he says but his robust and consistent championing of good education for everyone and the action he is taking to achieve it has been of considerable help in our work at the Academy over the past year.

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