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.