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Is Tate sulking?

TALKING of codes of silence, the current pastime among the Diary's colleagues is puzzling over the strange quiet that seems to have descended upon Nick Tate and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Not to suggest any Mafia-style sins are being covered up. But there was a time when the good doctor was keen to speak to the world about his thoughts on national identity, moral regeneration and civic pride. No longer.

Favourite reason for the silence is he's sulking in his tent after his ministerial bollocking earlier this year for daring to suggest that the slimmed-down primary curriculum was optional.

It must have been particularly galling, given the grin on the face of his rival super-quangocrat, Chris Woodhead, when the slimdown was announced. The OFSTED boss went on to dispense free advice on the forthcoming national curriculum review.

To add insult to injury, Dr Tate has had to watch Woodhead get a new contract and obscene pay rise. The silence is deafening.

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