The week

21st May 2010 at 01:00

Farewell, then, slightly-patronising-and-incredibly-expensive DCSF logo. How we will miss you and the way your childish rainbow attempted to dull the pain of yet more bureaucratic directives. How we will miss your omnipresent reminder of Every Child Matters and New Labour's concern for the "whole child". How we will miss your shininess and optimism, even at the top of documents and diktats that bear the worst of tidings. Fare thee well and Godspeed.

Welcome, then, the Department for Education. And the dour new logo and its visual metaphor for all things serious. And indeed, welcome new Conservative minister for schools (and amateur phonics obsessive) Nick Gibb. Oh what fun we're going to have with you. You surely won't let us down if you continue to place your size 9s in it the way you did on the first day in the job (one you've hankered after for so long). "I would rather have a physics graduate from Oxbridge without a PGCE teaching in a school than a physics graduate from one of the rubbish universities with a PGCE," you told a group of civil servants at their very first meeting. As a case study in how to anger just about everyone in education, this was a little bit special. One gaffe per week would suit us hacks just fine, Nick. Keep up the good work.

We should also find time to say a big fat "HELLO" to Sarah Teather, the Lib Dems' youthful contribution to the Department's new ministerial team. We have yet to find out how she will bond with her new Tory colleagues, especially given her historic and vocal opposition to academies and the decapitation of local authority power. Free schools, Sarah? How do you feel about 'em? A massive expansion of the academies programme? Up for defending it against a John Humphrys battering on the Today programme next Wednesday at 6.30am? Maybe the answers to these questions tell us why she has been given the "children and families" part of the portfolio. The kids' social services beat - otherwise known as the Baby P patch - can't exactly fill poor Ms Teather with glad tidings ...

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