The week

29th July 2011 at 01:00

Just as Hackgate seemed to be moving out of the increasingly myopic focus of the national media, it resurfaced on Tuesday, and this time it ensnared the Right Honourable Michael Gove, secretary of state for education. Aka Your Boss. He has, you see, met up with his old chums from News International more times than any of his Cabinet colleagues, other than the chancellor. Including three meetings with Big Rupe in just over a month earlier this summer. In a statement, the DfE points out that in his pre-government guise "Michael worked for the BBC and News International and his wife works for News International now". As associate editor of The Times and then, when in opposition, an extremely well-remunerated columnist. "He's known Rupert Murdoch for over a decade," the statement went on. "He did not discuss the BSkyB deal with the Murdochs and isn't at all embarrassed about his meetings, most of which have been about education, which is his job." Oh OK, it's all clear then.

While the NI debacle proved as unpredictable as the British summer weather, another seasonal story was spotted. The trusty perennial of "Are school holidays too long?" reared its ugly head this week with the same old arguments from the same old people. There is, almost certainly, some academic credibility in the case for shortening the break as it damages the progress made by more deprived kids - as compared to their middle-class counterparts who are forced to read Swallows and Amazons on the way to Tuscany. But the cornucopia of hand-wringing pieces in the press failed to deal with one key facet of the debate: SHORTENING THE LONG SUMMER HOLIDAY WILL NEVER EVER HAPPEN IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF SCHOOLS IN A MILLION YEARS. So there you go.

Deeply unlikely though it is, if you find yourself bored during your summer break, turn your attention to two thankless positions that need to be filled. One is chairman of the Independent Schools Council (balancing the interests of hundreds of wildly different and passionately autonomous headteachers - no thanks) and the other, Ofsted chief inspector (double no thanks, on the rocks). Watching the powers that be trying to tempt someone into either of these roles could fill a few empty hours once Murder She Wrote has finished on ITV4.

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