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Getting real...

A BIG Diary welcome goes out to David Hargreaves, now only days away from taking over at the helm of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

As chief executive Nick Tate heads off into the sunset for the challenge of running tough inner-city comprehensive Winchester College, the flags are already out for his successor - with the Campaign for "Real" Education leading the celebrants.

"Progressive gets top job" trumpets the headline of the CRE's latest newsletter. But fans of real real education whose little hearts jump for joy at this news are quickly informed that in the cob-webbed world of the CRE, this is a Bad Thin.

Most people, the newsletter tells us, have "grave doubts about his suitability as senior adviser to the Government". The rest, apparently, are "ambivalent".

His crimes? Daring to argue in a book in 1982 for the abolition of post-16 exams and suggesting that education might be (gasp) a political issue.

David's record is further indelibly blackened by time spent as chief inspector of the Inner London Education Authority. Hinting at a campaign to alert the world to this dangerous progressive, CRE will post a page of extracts from his book to anyone sending an SAE. Let's hope they're not breaching copyright.

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