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Hart says goodbye before heads

The education world's most influential lawyer had his retirement dinner at the Law Society last week.

To mark his 27 years as general secretary of the NAHT, David Hart feasted on baked lamb rump and white chocolate and strawberry brioche pudding in the company of the great, the good, and a Diary spy.

Mr Hart qualified as a solicitor before his guest, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, was even born. He recalled how he had talked his way to the top after 10 years as the union's legal adviser. "You're a lawyer - what makes you think you know about running schools?" asked his interviewers. "But of course," replied Hart, smooth as silk, "you know all about running schools.

I'm not going to try to do that for you."

So will Mr Hart, 65 in August, canter off into the sunset on one of the horses he keeps at his house beneath the Cumbria fells? That seems unlikely. He wants to keep up his international connections, especially with heads' associations in Europe and Australia. Indeed, it is rumoured he has been offered the headship of an international school. Will he take it?

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