Listening (Level 3)

Education adviser attacks UK schools

Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)

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A top adviser to the British government has attacked the quality of British schools and teachers. The adviser, Dominic Cummings, has worked closely with the UK Education Secretary Michael Gove for many years. Mr Gove has followed many of his adviser's ideas and has become very unpopular with British teachers. Cummings has made teachers very angry about a new report he made on education in Britain. He said education in Britain is "between awful and mediocre". He said most teachers do not do a good job in the classroom and that "real talent is rare". He wrote: "In England, few teachers are well trained in the basics of extended writing or mathematical and scientific modelling and problem-solving."

Mr Cummings also attacked other areas of Britain's schools. He said billions of dollars are "wasted" on projects to help poorer students and on "pointless" university courses. He argues that many university courses in England teach students little and do not help them get a job. He said university students needed to work much harder. Cummings also angered teachers by saying 70 per cent of a child's ability in the classroom is because of his or her genes, and not because of teachers. Senior officials at the Department for Education have said Mr Cummings should be fired. One said he is the reason for a lot of the Education Secretary's "madder ideas". Many teachers also want Michael Gove to be fired.

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