Political row neglects the real debate
Yet this week's promise to make part of the admissions code statutory to improve disadvantaged pupils' chances of a place at a successful school is welcome. So is the announcement of a stronger role for admissions forums.
Will it work? Will schools like the London Oratory where Tony Blair sent his two eldest children really stop interviewing prospective parents? As Mr Blair candidly admitted this week: "Whatever system you put in place, middle-class parents will do their best for their kids." Our front-page story reveals the emergence of yet another admissions quagmire. A third of the 27 academies exercise the right to select some pupils by aptitude.
Where distance from home to school is a factor they use a bewildering array of measures. The 200 academies envisaged by the Government will not be subject to the new admissions rules.
For most teachers and heads the Westminster wrangling over trust schools is a distraction. The Labour rebels say these schools will threaten the chances of the poorest pupils, ministers say they will improve them.
Teachers suspect that they will do neither. It is time to move on from the political debate and to start the educational one.