Should Professor Barber's standards crusade go horribly wrong, there is always his old job waiting for him at London's Institute of Education - where he was the aptly named Dean of New Initiatives. At least, that was the understanding.
But the latest disturbing news is that the good professor's erstwhile colleagues are plotting to axe his post. Is this a bid to prevent his return? Are they making room for a new title, Dean of Failed Initiatives, for example?
Perhaps they are bowing to the inevitable. It is widely believed that Professor Barber would want to return with a more traditional job specification - director or some such thing. When quizzed, the nervous folk at the institute said only that a decision is "yet to be taken".