If Ed Balls was a student, I would fail him. His career as Schools Secretary has been stained with the SATS marking fiasco and questionable education standards.
Recently, after a huge amount of stress to pupils, parents and teachers, SATS were abandoned overnight because the Government were unable to devise a suitable marking system.
Accusations of dumbing down to achieve better grades, are increasing with each year of exam results.
Now, the DSCF (Department for Schools, Children and Families) announced that half of all children in England did not get a place at their first choice school this year.
Entering a new secondary school is an unsettling time for any child. A strange environment, making new friends and having different teachers are stressful changes.
Imagine how traumatic it must be for children to have the additional pressure of being randomly separated from friends and siblings.
In February, the Guardian revealed how even families with twins face bureaucratic battles with local authorities after being sent to different schools!
The Twins and Multiple Birth Association (Tamba) estimated that at least 250 families received letters telling them their twins will be placed in separate schools.
Ed Balls has said such lotteries should only be used as a last resort and announced an inquiry into whether their use is harming children. But as a parent, and I’m sure many other parents feel the same way, an inquiry isn’t needed: separating twins is traumatic and harmful.
The Government has had 11 years to prevent this from happening. Ed Balls has personally had 2 years to make significant changes. His education as Minister, should include listening. If he stopped playing the blame game and listened to pupils, parents and teachers, Ed Balls might yet make the grade.