“Michael Gove to teach all children himself”. Oops! Spoof article appeared on Department for Education website

An article headlined “Michael Gove decides to teach all children himself” appeared on the Department for Education website for a month, despite staff being notified.

The satirical article said: “Education Minister Michael Gove today unveiled new plans to single-handedly teach every child in the UK” in a “cavernous” single classroom, and was accompanied by a photo of the Secretary of State for Education grinning.

The article was reportedly left by “hackers” and was initially flagged up on 5 February but not fixed until 3 March.

It was highlighted by tech blogger Terence Eden, who has covered alleged security issues on government websites before. ““It means the website could have been used to host spam or redirect people to viruses,” he said to the Times Education Supplement. “People could have displayed a lot worse.”

A DfE spokesperson said: “There is no evidence that EduBase has been tampered with.

“No personal data has been put at risk. EduBase does not hold sensitive information like individual pupils’ exam results or their addresses.

“We already have extra safeguards in place for systems holding sensitive data. These have not been affected by this matter, and we routinely inspect and test them to ensure they are safe from attack,” the DfE said.

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