Nah. You get used to it. The right have always used education as a football. Or at least, the education of other people's kids.
Look at these gems:
The educational establishment, an alliance of the teacher unions, Councils wishing to defend their school empires, Quangocrats and Department of Education civil servants, seem to take encouragement that they will be able to thwart any change.
I'd like to see him flesh that out - for a start there has never been an alliance of teacher unions, it's damned rare that they all take action together, and at least one is committed to no action at all...
Councils 'school empires' are actually progressive as they provide centralised services (from medical to psychological to support for disruptive pupils) much more effectively than individual schools or coalitions of schools can. DoE civil servants are mostly involved in payments of various sorts, the National Curriculum and named initiatives. I never saw any attempt to 'thwart change' - far from it. Most teachers would complain of change for change's sake.
They hope that they will be able to retain centralised control to ensure progressive orthodoxies in the classroom are followed. They want to retain control of what our children are taught and how they are taught.
'Centralised control' is necessary for the strategic allocation of resources and places, which is one thing, but to suggest that local authorities (which at one time Labour wanted to get rid of) control what children are taught is so wrong as to be bizarre. That is governed by the DoE/Parliament in the shape of the National Curriculum, a Conservative idea...
These people are convinced that they know best and therefore that the threat of parent power must be averted. Often they are uncomfortable about any reference to ‘bad schools’ or ‘bad teachers’ - and are most reluctant to support the closure of a school for having poor exam results or being half empty.
When it comes to local needs they may actually know best, or at least a lot. Parent power (what a shit phrase) is never strategic and almost always centred on an individual family. It's a chimera of involvement for the chattering classes. Identifying bad teachers is continuous (through performance management, school Self-Evaluation and Ofsted) and there is no escape once Ofsted has found them. But as teachers have employment rights like everyone else you can't just throw them in the stocks, you have to work with them to improve. And guess what - an awful lot of them do. A lot also move on, and there is a problem with some heads providing uncritical testimonials, but measures have been in place to counter that for some years.
And half-empty schools - we are facing a demographic boom in a few years time, and we will need all the school places we can scrape up. So we should close schools and make teachers redundant now only to rebuild and retrain a few years down the line?
Yet they are all too keen for grammar schools, church schools or independent schools to shut down - it seems the more successful a school, the more they despise it. Even when a school remains non-selective and state-owned there is hostility when it gains Academy status - because of the modest degree of independence from bureaucratic conformity.
This is utter arse gravy. First of all, very few authorities still have grammar schools (my own local authority being one of them) and to my knowledge there is no movement at all to close them down, although they may be provided with incentives to change their intake policies. No-one is seriously asking for faith or independent schools to be closed, although there are serious concerns about the expansion of faith schools. Remember that before 1997 the grant-maintained schools had a lot more financial freedom than they have now as foundation schools, many see becoming an academy of regaining that freedom - from local authority control.
And so it goes on...
I am old enough to have worked (proudly) for the Inner London Education Authority, abolished by Margaret Thatcher as an ideological act. We had a system there in which all 10-year olds took a series of tests from which they were placed in a series of bands (1, 2, 3) in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning. Comprehensives were then informed that they could take a certain number of boys/girls from each band, thus providing an equalised intake across the authority.
It was referred to as social engineering, and it was. And it worked, as it mixed kids from different backgrounds and ensured that schools were not allowed to become elite or sink. It gave the best possible chance to the greatest number. I taught the children of cabinet ministers alongside the offspring of the workers.
Nowadays we would shudder at the standards of education which were considered acceptable in the 60s and 70s, but the system was not at fault for that. The system attempted to be just and to eradicate privilege. That is what unwashed sphinctres like Phibbs can't stand.