When is Michael Gove going to come clean, and admit that his education policies are driven by ideology and prejudice? Trying to pass-off PR surveys as academically rigorous, and basing his education policies around dodgy prejudice, isn’t a good foundation to give people confidence in the UK education system. The Guardian is reporting that “Janet Downs, who describes herself as a grandparent and retired teacher, [sent] a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Department for Education asking for the evidence to support Gove’s claim.” that “one teenager in five” believes Winston Churchill was a “fictional character while 58% think Sherlock Holmes was real.”
It turns out that the claims were based on a survey done by that well-known academic and research institution UKTV Gold in 2008.
There are two lessons: first, if Gove was really confident about his sources in the first place he would publish them; and second, why on earth do we put up with PR drivel like this in the first place? God save us from Michael Gove and from dodgy PR merchants who peddle this junk.