The week

4th March 2011 at 00:00

What's that you can hear at the school gates, kicking, screaming and rampaging? Nothing, you say? Are you sure? If you were to have taken in this week's media, it would have had you believe that the country's parents had reacted to "Admissions Tuesday" by taking to the streets. Or not. The fact that the number of kids accepted into their chosen school was actually slightly up was rather brushed over in the reporting of the affair. If there's one thing most national newspaper education hacks can agree on, it's the fact that school admissions stories sell papers ...

Another perennial story that every good newsdesk loves is that of the "fallen angel" - and with good reason. People love 'em for their simplicity and the delicious sense of schadenfreude they inspire. It is this that Sir Alan Davies has to thank for the column inches generated this week by his arrest over claims that he defauded his old school, Copland in Wembley, north London. Coming, as it does, only a few weeks after news that once-feted Dame Jean Else, formerly head of Whalley Range High School in Manchester, hit the headlines for being relieved of her title due to her staffing and HR misdemeanours, this has not been a great month or two for Labour's superheads.

One character who seems to be travelling in the other direction when it comes to ennoblement is Alison Wolf, the Tories' favourite tell-it-like-you-find-it academic. She, after all, published this week the Government's latest reports on what we, as a nation, should do about the endlessly problematic issue of vocational education. This, it has to be said, is a rather thankless task - the position of skills-based qualifications in England's schools has been through more incarnations than James Bond over the last 50 years. And the results have resembled George Lazenby more than Sean Connery.

Talking of mysterious and shadowy figures, news reached TES Towers on Wednesday that one Julian Assange - he of one-way-tickets-to-Sweden fame - has applied to copyright his own name, including for use in education services. So watch out for that Wikileaks classroom resource winging its way to a chalkface near you.

Ed Dorrell.

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