Being an erudite sort of fellow and, you know, in charge of education and stuff, it’s encouraging to know that Michael Gove is a stickler for spelling and grammar. Just look at the teacherly dressing down he gave to Tristram Hunt in July:

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): Is the Secretary of State aware that figures from his department show that academy schools are, on average, teaching one third less GCSEs in history and geography than schools in the maintained sector, and are often inflating their grades through the use of GCSE equivalents?

Michael Gove: Like the hon. Gentleman, I am committed to academic excellence, so I should point out that he should have said “fewer”, not “less”.

If only he displayed the same high standards in his recent letter announcing changes to the specialist schools programme:

I look forwards [sic] to the number of schools enjoying these and other Academy freedoms increasing.”

But it gets better …

“I have decided that from April 2011 funding for specialism should no longer take the form of a dedicated grant, so that all schools can to decide [sic] how to develop their specialisms in the light of the total resources available to them.”

Must do better. See me after class.

Hat-tip: Shamik Das

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  17. To be fair to the obnoxious one, saying “look forwards” is not so much bad grammar as unusual style – it’s not incorrect it’s just not usually said or written.

    “all schools can to decide” I would argue is a typo not a grammatical error – although it’s debatable whether it makes any difference.

    I wouldn’t say it’s a hanging offence – he’s done far worse things lately

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  22. I remember this incident in parliament but I didn’t quite catch Tristram Hunt’s statement. I’ve just listened to it and I actually think he was right. He says: “One third less GCSEs…”. I would argue that his use of the word “less GCSEs” is closer to a collective mass noun than to a collection of GCSEs counted. In that case, the more appropriate word is less and not fewer.

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  26. I believe ‘look forwards’ refer to continuous expectation or it means he look forward not only once but many times.
    I believe, if it is not a mistake, he use ‘forwards’ to mean that he look forward too much.

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