In a contribution to Connected Schools, a book on educational technology published this week, Milibabble gets somewhat carried away with his metaphors.
"Excellence is a resource for a more egalitarian system," he writes.
"Excellence can do more than set an example; it can be a locomotive for improvement." Excellence is also "a battering ram against inequality" and, later in the essay, good schools can be "locomotives for progress". What next? The space hopper of raising standards? The pedalo of best practice?