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Knowsley knows the blight he's seen

The swanky headquarters of the National College for School Leadership have some of the most picturesque views in the education world, looking out over a pastoral corner of Nottingham university's campus. The college's new chief executive Steve Mumby is especially blessed. From his office he can gaze down on a lake where swans, geese and ducks pootle, playfully.

So what does Mr Mumby have on his desk? A picture to remind him of the view from his previous office at Knowsley education authority in Merseyside, where he was chief education officer.

The photograph shows a drab, drive-through McDonalds at a non-descript crossroads. It's heartening to see that Mr Mumby is "keeping it real" in his new job.

He also has the words of the Cat Stevens song Father and Son on the wall to remind him that it's all about the kids. But let's not go there.

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