Charles Clarke has come out in support of teachers in the wake of the GCSE results row which erupted after grades fell for the first time in the exam's history.
The former Labour education secretary told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that he believes the previous upward trend in grades seen over the past 24 years was down to improvements in the quality of performance of those in teaching jobs, rather than so-called grade "inflation".
He went on to accuse the current incumbent, Michael Gove, of seeing the continual improvement of grades in the wrong light.
"I think improving performances, which reflect the improving quality of children, their better learning, their better abilities, is something that should be desired," he said.
"The goal of education policy should be to increase education attainment and achievement for children and young people right across the whole range."
Several education bodies have threatened to mount a legal challenge over this year's results, with accusations that the grade boundaries were increased between January and the summer.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels