Department for Education emails leaked in today’s Guardian reveal how key government work has been farmed out to partisan allies of Michael Gove at the controversial New Schools Network. But this isn’t the first time the secretary of state has attempted to bypass his own department’s civil servants.

Back in March, as we reported, Gove flouted the civil service recruitment ban by advertising externally for two speechwriters. Emails released in response to a freedom of information request show that the move was initially blocked by junior minister Lord Hill, but opposition was soon quashed, and Gove was able to hire Alexandra Gowlland — a former researcher for Tory minister Nick Gibb — along with Elena Narozanski, who worked as his special adviser barely a month before the positions were advertised.

In February, James Frayne — a former campaigns director for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, and another key Gove ally (he features on the acknowledgements page of Gove’s book Celsius 7/7) — was brought in as Director of Communications after the veteran Caroline Wright took voluntary redundancy. And only last week, Gabriel Milland of Policy Exchange was appointed head of news, replacing Lee Bailey, who left in May “without a new role lined up”.

Gove will be insisting that teachers are Tories next.

  1. And why oh why, in this brave new world of the most open and transparent government EVER, can we still not know the full financing arrangements of the NSN?

  2. How we in the Devolved countries feel for you English as we watch your minority Tory government dismantle all your social provision like Education and Health, by fair means of foul.

  3. It would be nice if we could get a fairly balanced split of political parties as teachers. I’d say 90%+ of teachers I know are left or far left. It would be nice if you could insert perhaps 30% right.

    There are some good traits on the right. Efficiency, hard work, independence. All of which are not particular measures of left wing politics. Whereby it seems perfectly acceptable to fail spectacularly at life, yet still be rewarded handsomely than a well-behaved intelligent person.

  4. I suspect Mr Lumley is still at school himself. As a very young person he still hasn’t found out that there’s a yawning chasm between how the right perceive themselves and what the reality actually is. For example, for ‘efficient’ read ‘wreckers’. ‘Hard work’ equals ‘go on lots of holidays and blame everyone else when things go wrong’. ‘Independence’ means ‘look out for yourself and everyone else go hang’.

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