Clare's dream is to rule schools

13th October 2006 at 01:00
It is enough to give Tony Blair nightmares. Clare Short, the former Cabinet minister who provoked the Prime Minister's wrath by telling voters to desert Labour, will next week reveal her dream job: education secretary.

The rebel MP, who has been threatened with expulsion from the Labour Party after making the outburst last month, says in an interview with Teachers'

TV, the digital channel, that she would "love" to take over the Department for Education and Skills.

In a robust performance, Ms Short, who has become a thorn in the PM's side since quitting the Government over the Iraq war, says: "I would like it in a decent government where the secretary of state was in charge of the policies."

Ms Short, who three years ago spent a week working in a comprehensive as part of the BBC series My Life in the Real World, has long held the torch for teachers, once saying that the profession has been "undermined by successive governments".

Now, in an interview for Teachers' TV School Days series, reflecting on celebrities' classroom memories, Ms Short says policy-making is still being hijacked by "PR clever-dicks" in Number 10 who are guilty of "this arrogant despising of those who have always been teachers".

Ms Short, whose father was a teacher, praises Professor Tim Brighouse, chief adviser to the London Schools Challenge, and famed former head of education in Birmingham, but says the Government puts control of schools in the hands of people like Ruth Kelly, the former education secretary, whose monotone style was branded "uninspiring" by teachers.

"I would love to have been given the opportunity with the extra money coming in (to education) to help do what Tim Brighouse did to Birmingham to the whole of our education system, and have teachers in Britain with such high morale that they were lifting up achievement," she said.

"But with this regime you have to be Ruth Kelly and I don't want to be Ruth Kelly."

Or even Alan Johnson perhaps?

School Days is broadcast on Wednesday, October 25, at 9.15pm

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