The week

4th June 2010 at 01:00

This week was once again dominated by ol' rubber face himself and his radical academies plan. "Who's in to become an academy? Come on! Double dare you! No, no... Triple dare you!" That was what Education Secretary Michael Gove and his Tory team seemed to be saying to any school that would listen. And quite a few that wouldn't. After all, everyone knows that you can't decline a triple dare.

Only time will tell how many primaries and secondaries actually take up the Government on its ever-so-generous offer of academy status, but ministers certainly seemed happy about the response to the offer letter sent to all heads last Thursday. Prancing-around-happy, in fact. At the latest count, more than 1,000 schools have written back expressing an interest. It is still far from clear whether all of these will go through with the change, but, whisper it, the Conservatives' promised education revolution does seem to be developing some momentum. Cripes! Hold on to your hats...

This upheaval gained even more headlines over the long weekend when that charming Mr Gove told a nice Guardian-reading audience at the Hay literary festival that he had no objections "on principle" to private-sector companies making a profit from running successful state schools. Nothing radically new in this comment (he had said it before when in opposition), but the concept seems to gain much more emotional traction now he is perched on the Government benches. Cue angry reaction from our friends in the unions. Expect phrases like "leaching" and "capitalist cockroaches" to abound for the next few months. Happy days.

Light relief this week came in the form of altogether more out-there Conservative, our old friend Boris Johnson. Bozza - who let's remind ourselves is now mayor of London - swung by St Saviour's St Olave's CofE School in south-east London at the end of last week to deliver a Latin lesson as part of his one-man campaign to revive the nearly dead language. The pupils loved him, the teachers loved him, the head loved him. Shame the same can't be said about the Tory front bench. Reportedly.

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