Boffin mustn’t meddle in precious education
Last updated at 16:46, Friday, 28 September 2012
I WAS hoping we’d heard the last of Dr Tim Leunig. You may remember his outspoken views in a report earlier this year suggesting that the regeneration of failed towns was a non-starter.
His name has popped up again this week, only in a somewhat worrying turn of events, he has reappeared as an official adviser to the education secretary Michael Gove.
As a parent and school governor, I find it worrying that someone with a background of highly controversial opinions and views may now be influencing educational policies.
His latest report this year into northern towns shrinking in population size against a national trend was ridiculed by many, but it was really just a regurgitation of what he published four years ago as part of the “Policy Exchange” think tank.
When that first report was published in 2008, David Cameron famously referred to him as “barmy”. Yet here he is, four years on, securing a key advisory role in Cameron’s government.
Looking at his report earlier this year, the outspoken lecturer singled out Barrow as a dying town. In what was a smack in the teeth for all the hard working people involved in regeneration of the Furness area, he said “politicians must stop pretending the regeneration works, when it doesn’t”.
He said the same thing about Liverpool in his 2008 report. He needs to go back and look at Liverpool One, the whole waterfront, the continued expansion and development – he needs to take a long hard look at the number of jobs created, the businesses thriving and then tell us all regeneration doesn’t work.
People of vision, like Harry Knowles, John Woodcock and others – business people, in fact everyone one of us, have a hard enough battle geographically as it is – it took years to get the High Newton bypass agreed, but we got there. We got there by shouting long and hard, refusing to give up. We mustn’t stop shouting. We need the younger generations to believe Furness has a future worth fighting for.
It’s a worry that someone with such extreme views, who urged us all to up sticks and move south, who said coastal towns like Barrow had lost their raison d’etre as ports and as such had no future, could have a direct influence on educational policy.
Our children’s education is precious, it should be safeguarded and kept free from the influences of political boffins.
First published at 11:44, Friday, 28 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
This government gets more detached from reality by the day
Harry Knowles a 'person with vision?
John Woodcock a person with vision?
Ye gods. All I can say is thank god Mr McSweeney isn't on the X-factor panel!