Watch out for the icebergs

13th May 2005 at 01:00
So it is forward, not back. At least that is Tony Blair's plan. Yet as Labour enters a historic third term, though with a greatly-reduced mandate, the Blairite project to transform public education is in some disarray.

The facts are these. The Labour backbench is restless, eager to rein in new Labour's impatience to use the market and private sector know-how to improve England's state schools. Senior Cabinet members are letting it be known they would like Mr Blair to stand down within 18 months. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, now clearly prime-minister-in-waiting, bides his time.

The TES remains supportive of Labour's broadly progressive agenda which, as we said on the eve of the election, has brought much-needed investment to schools. But we are nervous. The Good Ship Education is embarking with some haste on a new voyage - and with a makeshift crew, following a botched reshuffle. Where is it going? It is hard to say.

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