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Dumbing down, Minister? Michael Gove gets his educational facts from marketing surveys for Premier Inn and UKTV Gold

Dumbing down, Minister? Michael Gove gets his educational facts from marketing surveys for Premier Inn and UKTV Gold

They may provide comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price and broadcast some of the finest repeats on British television but few would consider either Premier Inn or UKTV Gold to be organisations on the cutting edge of educational research. Few that is except Education Secretary Michael Gove.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by a retired teacher has left Mr Gove facing a torrent of criticism after it was revealed that he cited PR surveys commissioned by the two companies as evidence of British teenagers’ alleged ignorance of key historical figures and events.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday in March headlined “why I refuse to surrender to militant Marxist teachers hell-bent on destroying our schools” Mr Gove railed against the “enemies of promise” undermining the prospects of young people. Read more

Jonathan Brown | The Independent | 13th May 2013

Metropolitan Police give out cautions for a quarter of ALL crimes including rapes, drug trafficking and robbery

One in four of the crimes ‘solved’ by Britain’s largest police force last year involved the offender accepting a ‘slap on the wrist’, it emerged last night. Nearly 30,000 cautions were handed to criminals in London for offences including robbery, drug smuggling and even rape.

They made up a quarter of the 118,000 crimes counted as solved by police in the capital during those 12 months. Critics said the public and police are being short-changed by a rampant ‘cautions culture’ which lets off serious criminals.

The figures, revealed by a Freedom of Information request, showed the Metropolitan Police issued 28,998 cautions and youth warnings last year. Read more

Hugo Gye | The Daily Mail | 13th May 2013

Sussex Police fails to answer 15% of Freedom of Information requests on time

Sussex Police fails to answer 15% of all Freedom of Information requests on time. The force, which has come under fire for its failure to answer requests, admitted its own criminality in a Freedom of Information. It said about 140 responses annually – 15% – were delayed.

A spokesman said: “We continually aim for openness and transparency in providing information, and take all such requests seriously. However like most police forces and other public authorities we are facing a considerable increase in FOI requests, both from members of the public and also media organisations, which is stretching our resources.

“FOI requests to us this calendar year so far show a 41% increase over the same period last year. We are currently recruiting additional staff which we hope will help us manage this important work. Oversight is provided by the Information Commissioners Office with whom we regularly discuss these issues.” Read more
The Argus | 13th May 2013

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