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Suppress those smirks at the back, but the parents of St Vincent de Paul school in Westminster have roundly rejected the idea of opting out. Well, most of them have anyway, with the vote on the first ballot almost too close to call and that on the second 139 to 55. Sadly, Carborundum is unable to report definitively exactly how one father, a certain John Patten, feels about the matter but "gutted" might be one inelegant way to phrase it.

Attentive readers might recall Dr P as the Education Secretary who pushed opting out at every opportunity and was still espousing the virtues of grant-maintained schools last year, in an article praising their "exceptional" performance.

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