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Pregnant? Blame Charles Clarke

Paranoia seems to have gripped the Department for Education and Skills. One of The TES's crack journalists rang up the DfES this week to make an innocent enquiry. The press officer (who will remain nameless) was asked a seemingly straightforward question: what is the Government's prediction for the size of primary intakes over the next five years? The officer harrumphed that he was not going to be a pushover: "You journalists are always trying to pin us down to targets so you can hang us for not meeting them later on."

Luckily, our man persuaded the Sultan of Spin that even the ever-rigorous TES would have difficulty blaming ministers and mandarins for upping the birth rate. But perhaps their time might be better employed making babies rather than policies? The Diary hazards it would be more fun - for them and for schools...

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