'Bruiser' Clarke will be missed

17th December 2004 at 00:00
It is something of a surprise to find the departure of Charles Clarke for the Home Office provoking a sense of regret. Though frequently referred to as a "bruiser", in fact he proved to be anything but as Education Secretary.

Insiders give David Miliband much of the credit for the new consensus which broke out around the workforce agreement. But it could not have happened without Mr Clarke's astute political instincts for building alliances. And no one will ever forget that picture of him linking arms with the signatories of the "historic" agreement.

Headteachers helped to bring down his predecessor and their revolt over funding tempered his arrogance early on. He was never loved like Estelle Morris, but he just scraped a pass on university fees and proved a tougher champion at the other education ministry in Downing Street.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today