Delegate after delegate railed against them and their ministerial supporters. "Whenever I hear (Lord Adonis) talk about schools, I am reminded of the words of the Bard: 'I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow,' " said Andy Ballard, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
But the mood was quite different at a fringe meeting that night, where Education Secretary Ruth Kelly was praising a new TUC training scheme.
The name of the new project?
Er, the TUC Learning Academy.