Civil war

Once education was, dare we say it, a bit of a backwater for your ambitious civil servant. A berth in something glamorous like the Treasury or the Home Office was thought to be much more conducive to one's career prospects than going anywhere near those horribly unwashed teachers. How times have changed!

As speculation mounts about the battle to succeed retiring civil service supremo Sir Richard Wilson, two scions of the education world are believed to be in the running.

Sir Michael Bichard, former DFEE permanent secretary, has been widely touted alongside the likes of Sir David Omand (Home Office), Sir Andrew Turnbull (Home Office) and Rachael Lomax (Work and Pensions).

But insiders believe the current DFES head, super-smooth David Normington, may also be the running. That is if Mr Blair can take seriously a man known to his staff as Rocking DJ, Dreamboat and, most ominously, Stormin'

Normington.

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