Education minister sacked after resignation calls from Lancaster and Morecambe headteachers

Lancaster NUT rally against education cuts.
Lancaster NUT rally against education cuts.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has been sacked from the cabinet in the wake of calls from Lancaster and Morecambe headteachers for her to resign.

More than 15,000 people signed the Lancaster and Morecambe Primary Headteachers Cluster petition on change.org, which also asks for an apology from Mrs Morgan, “because of her failures with this year’s Key Stage 2 SATs”.

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

New Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Thursday morning that Nicky Morgan would no longer be in charge of education.

She has also sacked former education secretary Michael Gove as justice minister.

She has not yet announced who will take on the education secretary role.

The petition stated that this year, 47 per cent of 11-year-old children will be told that they haven’t reached the expected standard in at least one of their SATs papers. Last year the figure was 15 per cent.

It read: “This is extraordinarily demoralising for children who are just about to make the big step up to secondary school.

“Nicky Morgan was warned by teachers and head teachers that the criteria for teacher assessment did not allow teachers to recognise the strengths of pupils’ work.

“The material was too hard, the curriculum wasn’t in place, the guidance provided to schools was constantly changing, and the tests were badly designed.

“And now, it is being reported, also poorly marked.

“It is now important that we reassure parents and children that this is not an accurate judgement of their abilities.

“This is not their failure - it’s Nicky Morgan’s failure.”

Catherine Armistead, headteacher at Skerton St Luke’s Primary School in Lancaster said that Lancashire has more than 90 per cent of children educated in Good or Outstanding schools.

“For Nicky Morgan et al try to say it is teachers’ fault that 47 per cent of children didn’t reach the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths in the KS2 test doesn’t equate.

“The ‘expected’ is unrealistic and irrelevant to children as they move into high school.

“We have good teachers in Lancashire who will always do their best for our children and this curriculum and the expected standard at the end of it does not show all that they are, or all that they can do.

“We don’t believe that allowing almost half the country’s Year Six pupils to move to high school being told that they have failed is the best way to raise standards- or children’s self-esteem.

“Year 7 should be about new challenges, not having to re-sit an exam you “failed” in the summer of Year 6.”

The petition says that because of the major failings of a key reform, and because of the effect of those failings on schools and children, Nicky Morgan must first of all apologise to all those children who took KS2 SATs this year, and then resign her post.