His replacement by his former junior, Estelle Morris, puts an ex-teacher and champion of comprehensives in the key position of school standards minister. Her promotion is particularly welcome. Highly rated for her experience and competence, there is nevertheless a danger she will come under pressure to show that, like Byers, she too has a radical cutting edge. We hope this does not happen. Common sense is more important than populism and political tricks.
With the arrival of Charles Clarke, former head of Neil Kinnock's office, as education junior minister, and Margaret Hodge, energetic chair of the Commons education select committee and friend of Mr Blair, as employment minister, David Blunkett's new team is not short of political skills. We must wait to see whether they are put to good use.