News release

31 March  2011

The Campaign for Real Education has a new chairman and a new 9-word manifesto.

After more than 20 years as chairman,  Nick Seaton has stepped down. We are delighted to announce that our new chairman is Chris McGovern, a long-standing committee member, and a firm defender of high standards and parental choice. As a former state-school history teacher and, more recently, the head of a successful London prep school, Chris fully understands the issues and will be a great asset.

Vice-chairmen Jenny Chew, Jacqui Davies and Katie Ivens continue as before and Nick is now secretary. Vera Dalley continues as treasurer, having previously held the positions of secretary and treasurer.  
The new manifesto is:  Freedom to teach - Freedom to learn - Freedom to choose

We believe these freedoms should be available to everyone involved in education, wherever they live or whatever their position or background.  What matters is the end product or result, not prescriptive detail on the process or how lessons should be taught.  All this would be possible if we had better accountability, with simple but rigorous tests in primary schools, more rigorous exams and honest school performance tables. And, of course, honest, direct financial accountability in state education.   

Note for editors:

Chris McGovern has 35 years of teaching experience at all ages from 5 to 18, in both the maintained and the independent sectors. He taught with great success in three large comprehensive schools, two as head of department, before switching to the independent sector following a well publicised row about exam standards at 16-plus. Until his recent ‘retirement’ he was headmaster of an independent preparatory school in north London. In five years under his leadership he took the school from falling numbers to being seven times over-subscribed. His promotion of foreign languages for young children has been well in advance of any school in the country.
Chris is a qualified inspector for both Ofsted and for the Independent Schools Inspection Service. In the 1980s he co-founded the History Curriculum Association and remains a director. During the 1990s he served on two government advisory bodies: the School Examinations and Assessment Council and the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. As a member of the group that revised the National Curriculum for History in the mid-1990s he wrote a critical minority report, The SCAA Review of  National Curriculum History: A Minority Report, published by the Campaign for Real Education, that has subsequently been seen as very well founded. He also wrote a chapter on history in The Corruption of the Curriculum, published last year by Civitas.
Chris has been an educational adviser to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street under two prime ministers and he has served on the TUC local government committee. He  has a strong commitment to improving educational standards and to involving youngsters in charitable initiatives. In the past few years he has led pupils and parents in enterprises to set up infant schools in India and Nepal, and worked with pupils and  parents for a number of UK  charities.  He is currently involved in a charitable trust that has set up three academy schools in deprived locations.
He is a regular contributor to press, TV and radio discussion of educational matters at home and abroad.

Further information from Chris McGovern, Tel: 01435 830109 or 07757 715145.  Or email:  [email protected]


Chairman: Chris McGovern.  Tel: 07757 715145.  Email: [email protected]
Vice-Chairman: Katie Ivens.  Tel: 07990 997215
Treasurer: Dr WAD Freeman. Email: [email protected]
Secretary: Alison McRobb. Email: [email protected]