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GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE It’s a story that risks getting buried (conveniently for the Government?) amid the Budget, but shadow children, schools and families secretary Michael Gove is demanding a “profound apology” from his opposite number in the Government, Ed Balls, over the collapse of last year’s Sats tests.

It comes as Ken Boston, the former head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority – who resigned over the affair – speaks out for the first time.

An inquiry ordered by Mr Balls laid much of the blame for the situation on the QCA, but Dr Boston is now effectively claiming that ministers Mr Balls and Jim Knight lied about the situation, in particular suggesting that Mr Balls’s insistence that ministers had pressed him for answers and beleaguered him with demands for meetings as “fiction” and “far from the truth”. 

He (Dr Boston) is giving evidence to the DCSF select committee today and Michael Gove is rowing in behind him:

“Ed Balls stands accused of deliberately misleading the public over the Sats fiasco. He claims to have been a vigilant defender of the public interest asking tough questions to ensure tests were delivered properly. But Ken Boston now reveals he took next to no action to ensure these crucial tests were delivered.

“Instead of saying sorry, ministers concentrated on blaming others, giving an account of their activities which Ken Boston tells us was fiction. Ed Balls owes the teachers, parents and children who were let down by his deliberate failure a profound apology and he must come to the House of Commons to set the record straight.”

You can hear Mr Gove expand on it all here on this morning’s Today programme.

Jonathan Isaby

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