A recent written question by Karl Turner who is the Shadow Transport Minister was presumably aimed at his opposite number, Chris Grayling. However Chris chose to let his junior Minister Nusrat Ghani answer the question. The question was “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which ports with waste reception facilities are compliant with the International Maritime Organisation’s mandatory guidelines on exhaust gas cleaning systems; and when each of those ports was last inspected for compliance” In fact Nus Ghani chose to ignore both elements of this question but in her response which was made on Tuesday she revealed a much more concerning aspect of how the Government handles Ports around our coastline: “The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) conducts inspections of UK ports against the approved Port Waste Management Plans held by them. These plans include the handling of exhaust gas cleaning residues. The inspections are conducted independently on each port, and the MCA has not observed a need to generate statistical information covering the entirety of UK ports.”
It is fascinating to read this response and compare it to the content of this blog I wrote nearly 2 years ago relating to the work of Ofsted and how their focus needed to move away from simply measuring the statistics of school exams which have been placed in result tables since 1991 and instead focus more closely on what children are being taught. Now of course the pressure from the Government to measure statistics from Schools since 1991 is not going away even though many people including the management in Ofsted argue that a more holistic approach is what is needed. However it is totally bizarre that the Government demands that Ofsted measures every school in the UK using the same criteria and that their results along with the annual exam results are published so that they can be fitted into a table of results while the same Government is quite unconcerned regarding the effectiveness of each port in our nation and therefore allows the MCA to go about their business without any form of accountability or challenge.