"So Mr Brennan, do you believe that education has improved over the last 13 years under Labour?"
"Yes, education has improved under Labour"
I started furiously reaching out for my mobile to ring in but fortunately other listeners had got there before me. The anger was palpable. Accusations live on air included “liar”, "they should hang their heads in shame", “there should be a law against MP’s lying like that”, “rubbish” and many more. Caller after caller.
I have never, ever heard any MP admit they were wrong. Ever. I suspect that it’s due to the media training that teaches them never admit liability for anything and never answer a direct question unless you can convey your latest policy line or spin.
Journalists should simply state to these “education deniers” that they are liars and unless they retract that statement, the interview is over. Plain and simple.
The last caller summed up the situation quite well. He was a teacher and had been teaching for the last 30 years and stated quite categorically that standards had dropped and compared an O-level maths paper with a GCSE and said a C in the O-level paper would be the equivalent of an A* nowadays.
There was also mention that modules were being removed from certain subjects because pupils found them too hard, especially maths and the sciences and some schools, in order to improve their league positions, encouraged the pupils take the easier subjects e.g. Travel and Tourism instead of Geography.
Glad to see Michael Gove at least attempting to tackle this one.