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Bard of Thames;Diary

ONE OF Tony Blair's post-holiday headaches is to do Ken Livingstone out of running for mayor of London; William Hague, on the other hand, seems powerless to stop Lord Archer's juggernaut campaign, spearheaded by former teacher, failed Tory candidate, and occasional contributor to The TES, Stephan Shakespeare.

Mr Shakespeare's natural newspaper homes are the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail (pro-phonics, Woodhead, gold-standard of A-levels, that kind of thing) where he is described as an inner-city teacher. He was head of special needs in a Lambeth comprehensive after running a school for dyslexics in Los Angeles in the early 80s.

"That was a cutting-edge school," he recalls. "I started in Lambeth in 1990, I loved working there; it was a time when the school went through tremendous improvement."

His enthusiasm now is reserved for his boss. "There's no education remit for the mayor, but he can lead the agenda. Jeffrey is fighting hard for Londoners as they're missing out on spending."

He promises that "Jeffrey won't be knocking schools". Neither, presumably, will be Trevor Phillips (another TES scribe), whose candidature for Labour was thought to be flawed by the fact he sends his children to private schools.

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