On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: Prince Charles

Yes, Your Royal Highness, I'm talking to you. Stop muttering to your plants, pop that batch of Duchy Originals in the oven and come over to the naughty step.

We have got wind of the fact that you bent the ear of former England education secretary David Blunkett a few years ago over the issue of grammar schools. We read in our papers this week that you insisted there should be more of them, because grammars gave people the chance to escape their impoverished backgrounds.

Being a bit left wing, Mr Blunkett wasn't impressed by your lobbying, saying he preferred to improve the lives of people from all backgrounds rather than help a select few.

We're not complaining about grammar schools per se - we at TES Towers give everyone a fair go. But we're not sure that members of the royal family - no disrespect, please don't throw us in the Tower of London - should be instrumental in deciding education policies. We are a democracy, after all.

One wonders, indeed, how many royals would have successfully passed the 11-plus, and where certain of them would be now if they'd had to spend their formative years in a secondary modern rather than one of the private schools favoured by blue bloods.

So, respectfully, we ask that you stick to your biscuits and public pronouncements on architecture and homeopathy, and steer clear of the grammar schools debate. It's already a crowded field.

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