For those washing down their lemon sole with a dry vermouth and crayfish nage (the people eating it didn't know what it was either) with Australian chardonnay, SEO president, Andrew Baxter, reminded them they had Cambridge Education Associates - famous for taking over Islington's schools - to thank . The drinks are on the private sector, he said. We couldn't help thinking that the CEA delegates in the corners looked suspiciously like an 18th-century Royal Navy press gang - giving the boys a shilling before dragging them off for years of hard labour and pound;80,000 plus salaries.
And what was the main topic that gripped education chiefs as they dabbed gravy from their chins? A texting frenzy was sparked by repports of TV indecencies between Big Brother's Paul and Helen.
Of course the burning question was: who was going to be evicted? The title of the conference? "Inclusion - the unmet challenge."