• Dominic Cummings has produce withering report on England's education
  • Argues educationists instead need to focus on how genetics affect children
  • Clams children with poor self-control more likely to be criminals
  • Adviser is leaving his role to reportedly become involved in free schools

By Anna Edwards


Michael Gove's advisor has slammed England's schools, teachers and universities, arguing that children's 'genetics' decide how well a child does.

Influential adviser Dominic Cummings claims in a withering thesis that educationists instead need to focus on how genetics affect children, and adapt education to suit a child's IQ.

In a scathing attack, the adviser criticises most of the education available to children in England today - from pre-learning facilities, to GCSEs, to university study to how education is researched.

Michael Gove's aide Dominic Cummings has produced a withering report on the state of England's education

The political aide says the Department for Education should be cut down, with hundreds instead of thousands acting as accountants and inspectors, the Guardian reported.

He also demands that private and state education should be indistinguishable, and the department should work to reduce the differences.

Mr Cummings maintains that individual child performance is mainly based on genetics and a child's IQ rather than the quality of teaching.

He argues that not only IQ but self-control and a conscientious character will shape a child's future.

He says a scientific way needs to be developed to produce a more ambitious education and training system.

The Cummings manifesto claims that 'the education of the majority even in rich countries is between awful and mediocre', and that the quality of maths education is especially poor.

He also says that 'real talent' is rare among the nation's teacher.

Educationists instead need to focus on how genetics affect children, and adapt education to suit children's IQ, Cummings claims

Educationists instead need to focus on how genetics affect children, and adapt education to suit children's IQ, Cummings claims

'In England, few are well trained in the basics of extended writing or mathematical and scientific modelling and problemsolving,' he wrote.

In the 250-page document, he claims that education standards have stagnated for the last 30 years and the actual research on education needs to be vastly improved.

It is not just teachers who are heavily criticised - Mr Cummings says university undergraduates should spend more time studying, and that the current demands are not taxing enough.

He also says that it is reasonable to believe that GCSE exams have become easier, which is why students have been earning top grades.

The Sure Start programme, aimed at providing early learning for pre-school children, is slammed by Cummings, who says there is little evidence for its practical impact.

The education adviser also claims that studies show children with little self-control are more likely to be poor, have serious health problems and be criminals.

Under Labour Sure Start Children's Centres were established to provide early learning and full daycare for children under five.

Sure Start Children's Centres are open to all parents and children and many of the services are free.

But the advisor argues that there is little evidence to prove that they make a strong difference to a child's educational development.

The adviser is leaving his role to reportedly become involved in free schools.

He told The Independent he was uncertain of what exactly his next position would be, but was interested in pursuing other educational developments 'outside politics', the newspaper reported.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

That theory is rubbish, has he no knowledge of what money, privilege and loving, caring parents can achieve? Did he ever attend an inner city state school? Blue, Manchester.

I would suggest that the biggest factor in whether a child does well in school is the parents. These TWO people determine whether the child does well or not.

His photo looks like a mug shot. Just how, precisely, is he qualified to make this sweeping statement? Where are his research sources? Over what size population sample? What length of time? In which countries? Or is he talking out of his behind? Discuss.....

I think it is all a genetic lottery yes..I had two blood related sons and one is highly successful and the other found everything from cradle to college a largely fruitless struggle. I think their peers and environment may have affected them too.. (successful one brought up rural and the other in a new town). I also think that the example set by parents is a very potent ingredient in kids lives. The amount of sacrifices the parents are willing to make can help bring on dull kids. Exposing them to diverse places and activities can help and one cannot do this if all disposable income is going on booze, gambling, designer clothes and drugs.

The old nature versus nurture debate resuscitated eh? What always amuses me about these so called experts, is how much they get paid to decry what is going on and thus attempt to change it, when in fact the trillions spent on following their diatribes based upon little knowledge but a lot of bandwagon pussy footing around, is why our eduction system is in such a mess in the first place.

What an absolute idiot!

Does everyone who works for the Conservative party hate schools and teachers? Good riddance.

That is his opinion and he is entitled to it but putting educational achievement down to genetics strikes me as a little elitist. The highest achievers come from Public schools which are populated by the rich so is he saying that rich people are genetically superior to the poor?

Before he starts blaming teachers he needs to realise that the teaching profession has always been aware that genetics plays a part. unfortunately the teaching profession is ruled by politics and a culture where every child's success is measures by statistics. Its about time they let the real professionals get on with their jobs. Teachers do know best, well most of them do. Im sick of hearing these people who have never taught and have no idea what the job entails. His theory is hardly rocket science is it?

Yep. Teaching matters because you can vary ability by about 20 % but genetics sets the midpoint.

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