Hero or cheat?
Michael Gove and his wife, Sarah Vine, have been widely praised for their decision to send their daughter to a state comprehensive, Grey Coats Hospital C of E School in Westminster. It has been claimed that Gove is the first Education Secretary to send a child to a state school. But not everyone is pleased. Peter Hitchens was one of the first to sound off in the Mail on Sunday, pointing out that the school is not an easy one to get into and even posting its admissions rules on his blog. “You would have to be a mixture of Albert Einstein and St Thomas Aquinas to work out what they actually mean in practice,” he says about the rules. Early last month the independent Office of Schools Adjudications criticised Grey Coats for making demands in terms of church cleaning, singing in the choir and flower arrangement that would be hard for a single parent to fulfil. Grey Coats gets 900 applicants every year for 151 places. Hitchens and the others who criticise Gove and Vine should at least stop to consider the fact that their religious views may just have played a part in their decision. Gove is a regular at St Mary Abbots and sent his daughter to the primary school there. He surely has more right to send his daughter to Grey Coats that Harriet Harman, who managed to get her daughter in there in 1998.