"Secretary of State, headteachers are revolting." So the DCSF's top mandarin David Bell might have said as Michael Gove settled his feet on his oversized desk and started thumbing through the latest bureaucratic assault on schools. "The thing is, Sir, they really don't like Sats and they want us to scrap 'em." Cue awkward pause. "What they really want is for us to trust teachers to assess the progress of their KS2 pupils themselves without any nasty external tests." The response? Who could possibly know? But it almost certainly wasn't, "Ah, David, I see. I think the heads might have a point. I've always been worried about teaching to the test and its impact upon primary pedagogy. Please phone Christine Blower and Mick Brookes for me and tell them they've won."
Most of Wednesday was spent second-guessing the new Cam-Clegg power axis and who they were going to parachute into The Department to sort out, among other things, the Sats boycott mess. Would it be David "ex-merchant banker" Laws or Michael "Swedish air miles" Gove. Upon such decisions, the future of any number of policies rested. Would we see the Social Partnership continue? Possible under Laws; deeply unlikely under Gove. The free schools model? Watered down under Laws; pushed through under Gove. In the end, DC settled on his old Tory ally and TES journalists sighed with relief that thousands of column inches in the past couple of years on Gove's proposed education reforms had not been a complete waste of time. Fleet Street hacks would also have allowed themselves a wry smile as they dusted down any number of punny headlines about the Conservatives and their penchant for a nice Swedish model. Happy days.
If one can tear oneself away from the mind-numbing addiction of 24-hour political coverage, turn your thoughts to Sir Eric Anderson, who may be celebrating this week's events. Sir Eric, you see, was David Cameron's headteacher at Eton. This is almost a hat-trick for Sir Eric, who was housemaster of another PM, Tony Blair, at Fettes, and taught Britain's future king, Prince Charles, at Gordonstoun. But Mr Cameron may be nervous - Sir Eric was not afraid to criticise the government's education policy under Labour, so may not hesitate to do the same under the new Con-Lib coalition. Given that he once disciplined David Cameron for smoking cannabis, we look forward to his views on drug education and PSHE.