Sunday, 21 November 2010

Janet Daly on Coalition reforms & Big Society

Two truly radical initiatives were announced by the Government last week argues Janet Daly in a convincing piece for today's Sunday Telegraph.

The first, an attempt to widen educational excellence - 'best practice' in the jargon - by Michael Gove in allowing poorly performing schools to link with highly rated ones in order to gain Academy status. And the second an announcement by Francis Maude - fast becoming the Coalition's minister for the Big Society - that public sector workers can set up co-operatives (the John Lewis option) to run their own areas of expertise as independent enterprises, giving them a real stake in their own future.

She concludes the article with the words, From its welfare and education reforms to a revolution in the running of public services, the Government has a Big Idea which involves personal freedom within the bounds of community responsibility.

Now the personal freedom part may well be a Big Idea, but the concomitant community responsibility side sounds remarkably like Big Society to me.

PostScript: Gove appearing on Andrew Marr's show this morning, explained that school funds specifically allocated for sport, about which the Guardian (and Ed Balls of course) is predictably outraged, will now no longer be silo'd but available for spending as educationalists want. That's government trusting teachers. What a breathe of fresh air.