The week

15th April 2011 at 01:00

Just as you sit back, breathing deeply with a zen-like calm, and attempt to calculate the full repercussions of your school's latest funding settlement, the Government goes and lobs in another financial hand grenade. A new funding formula for all schools is on the way, you say? A complete overhaul of the decision-making structure that decides who gets what from next April? Wowza. Not exactly a small undertaking, eh? And one that could be life-changing for you and your school, depending on the way your chunk of the cookie crumbles. Say what you like about Mr Gove's political philosophy or motivation - but one can't deny the speed of change and the level of ambition. The question seems to be which childish but illustrative tale we'll be alluding to in the years to come? The hare from The Tortoise and the Hare? Or the road runner from, um, Road Runner.

Speedy they may be, but gaffe-proof on education this Government is not. Just ask Mr Gove's boss. Think back to November 2009. While in Opposition attack-dog mode, the now prime minister took Gordon Brown to task over two London Muslim schools, he said, that were propagating extremism and receiving public funds while doing it. Only they weren't and they didn't. It was, at the time, one of DavCam's most embarrassing mistakes and one that could have been avoided by some simple fact-checking. Then this week came a similar blunder. Speaking at a touchy-feely meet-the-public event on Monday, the PM set about Oxford Uni for admitting just one "black" student last year, claiming that it illustrated all sorts of problems with the education system. Just one problem. The stat was wrong. In fact, the uni admitted 20 black students last September, only one of whom was from an African-Caribbean background. What was it that Wilde said about once being "misfortune" and twice "carelessness"?

One document that you couldn't accuse the Government of rushing out is the new admissions code. First due over two weeks ago, this potential political mine-field is now apparently not going to see the light of day until at least the middle of next month. Probably for the best, however, for heads' indigestion up and down the country. Best let the funding formula plans settle before letting an admissions shake-up play havoc with the collective digestive tract, eh?

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