On the day we hear in the news media about the censure of a previous report claiming saturated fats do not increase the risk of a heart attack [I would guess censured correctly], I should like to confirm that any suggestion reading the pompous nonsense of Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb is also safe to consume is dangerously bad advice.
Waking up to the House of Commons Hansard transcript of the Parliament debate yesterday on the petition “Authorise open book examinations for GCSE English Literature 2017”, one could have fallen into the trap of tucking into its plateful of commentary like a few pounds of seemingly tasty sausages and bacon – but I am too health-conscious of the cloying effects of anything The Glib has to say on study and assessment in English, at any level.
The point is, I have only skimmed his response – a bit like trimming the fat from the bacon slices and pushing the sausage to the side – because the greasy gist of it all is a given. In a pompous breakfast feast, he trotted out all the old arguments for rigour and dated convention in examining, not understanding a single reality about teaching, learning and assessment. This is gleaned from a brief perusal of the traditional and expected fry-up he always sets before us.
The two Labour MPs speaking in favour of the petition, Helen Jones [Warrington North] [Lab] and Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck [South Shields] [Lab], did respectively and eventually speak convincingly to why the prevention of open book examination in GCSE English Literature – especially in the context of such examination from 2017 being entirely terminal – is a bad, educationally unsound decision. I was disappointed to see that these two both couched this within rather self-indulgent extrapolations on wider reveries about Literature and Chaucer and so on, but I suppose this is the convention of such debates. That Jones and Gibb were able to have a little oratory giggle about a Morecambe and Wise sketch made me want to regurgitate my breakfast.
Not that I had actually eaten, going on the computer with morning coffee and reading this causing me to lose any appetite immediately.
I will not trawl through The Glib’s response unpicking its saturated nonsense gristle bit by gristle bit. You can read the transcript, or actually watch the debate for yourself at the links below [Watch a recording of the debate? What kind of masochism would that indicate?]. The one piece of full blubber I will pick on is The Glib claiming the prohibition on an open book exam is all the work of Ofqual when we all know it is a part of the singular decision-making and/or suggestions of the previous Education Secretary Michael Gove, to which The Glib is simply another part of the continuing fatty sausage link.