The real power behind the throne

11th August 2000 at 01:00
POWER is an elusive concept at the best of times, but we can thank Gillian Shephard for revealing just how elusive it can be.

The impish former Education Secretary casts her eye over her years in Government in a new book, Shephard's Watch - illusions of power in British politics.

Major's era was of course notable for his failure to wield much power at all. (Gill tells how he made education his top priority then sat back and let her fight the Treasury - unsuccessfully - for the cash.)

There's saly little on her time at the DFEE, but even so, this series of vignettes has one towering absence.

Where, in a book about power, is the most powerful man in education? The man who, according to Major's successor, Willy "14-pints" Hague, has done more than anyone to improve our failing education system? Where, in short, is Chris Woodhead?

Can Gillian have liked him as little as David Blunkett does? The ability to make teachers and ministers alike wake up in a cold sweat - now that's power.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now