AM slams Tory Government GCSE ideological book ban

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones, has criticised the UK Government’s Education Secretary, Michael Gove for imposing limits on the books that young people in England can study for GCSE as part of a “ideologically driven and parochial” programme of changes to English education. Ms Jones also praised the Welsh Education Minister for allowing “creativity to flourish” in Welsh classrooms.

Ms Jones said: “This is the latest in a series of ideologically driven diktats coming from Michael Gove. By imposing limits on teachers and effectively banning certain classic books from being studied – Michael Gove is gagging teachers by imposing his own narrow minded view of education on them. The man’s arrogance knows no bounds.

“Rather than placing rigid and spurious limits on teachers, the Welsh Education Minister is allowing teachers the freedom to teach with creativity and flair – teachers are best judges of how to educate our children. We also know that when teachers are allowed to be creative, it can result in world-class teaching.

“We want young people in Wales to have an education that is rooted in the community they are from, but which at the same time is outward facing and which gives them the chancer to explore to the very best literature the world has to offer. The American classics now banned by Michael Gove are among some of the best books available and the banning of John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou and Tennessee Williams is an insult to those children who will no longer have the chance to study their great works in depth”.

Ms Jones joined Welsh Labour colleagues this week at the Senedd to support the teaching of a wide range of literature in Welsh schools.