Chalk Talk: Will the Toriessoon come knocking at Adonis's door?
Thursday 20 January 2011
Some time ago, before the election, David Cameron and Education Secretary Michael Gove both issued an invitation to Andrew Adonis, architect of Labour's academies programme, to join them in government if they won the election. Lord Adonis diplomatically refused to accept the offer – he was after all a Labour minister at the time.
Now, however, in an interview with The Spectator, he indicated he backed Gove's expansion of the programme. He said neither he nor Tony Blair wanted academies restricted to the inner city areas – comments that put him at odds with the Labour party hierarchy, which has claimed that the drive to persuade "outstanding" schools in the leafy suburbs was a "perversion" of their policies.
For good measure, he also backed the setting up of "free" schools run by parents, teachers and charities – for creating more choice and diversity for parents. This again contradicts the line taken by Labour in opposition.
Time to get that invitation dusted down again, perhaps?
* An intriguing flyer (if you'll pardon the pun) for the State Boarding Schools' Association's annual conference last weekend caught my eye. One of the guest speakers was Dr Piers Sellers, a former pupil of Cranbrook school in Kent – where the conference was held. He has the distinction of being Britain's first astronaut.
A note about the conference said he would be "flying specially from NASA to address the conference".
Via the moon, presumably.
* If our bankers feel any sense of guilt about being awarded whopping great bonuses at a time of economic hardship, they could look to one of their Tanzanian counterparts to salvage their consciences.
The Stanbic Bank has donated the equivalent of £2,500 to help with the transportation of equipment for two schools in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. The equipment – four 40ft containers of furniture – was collected from a warehouse in Corby, Northamptonshire owned by the charity Education For All, set up to establish schools in emergency and disaster zones.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Dar-es-Salam, the bank's head of corporate affairs, Abdallah Singano, said: "We recognise that education is the pillar of national development ... Therefore we are pleased to be able to support such a worthy cause." Beats justifying why you are entitled to a bonus of more than £1m.
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