Sinking feeling;Diary

30th April 1999 at 01:00
NOW Tony Blair has pledged to sort out inner-city education with Excellence in Cities, you'd think any self-respecting Blairite would be queuing up to send the kids to the sink school at the end of the road.

Alas, the liberal classes' hand-wringing - and the cross-town flight to posher schools - both look set to continue. At a conference for the cream of the early-years establishment - local authority advisers, leading state education campaigners, and task force members - there were defensive looks all round.

"We thought about it, but the children are just so rough at the local school," one said. "I know, I know," said another. "We wanted to but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I know we ought to."

A third chipped in: "Well we did, and our 14-year-old came home with a broken nose in the second week of term." Guilty expressions turned to smiles of vindication.

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