Trying to effect change within the educational establishment is, as the former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead once put it, 'as slippery and hard for reformers to wrestle down as a greased cow in a swamp'. Woodhead (after the US education secretary William Bennett) called the 'tribe' that make up the civil service, the LEAs, the teacher unions and the occupants of ivory towers, the Blob.
The latest instalment in the battle with the Blob is reported on in the Telegraph today, where Benedict Brogan identifies the various organisations responsible for trying to slow down, stymie, or openly obstruct the process of change. Unsurprisingly, the main 'enemy within' turns out to be the civil service in the guise of the education department.
What is so amazing is that the people staffing the DfE who are themselves educated to the highest level would yet deny what they have had to pupils languishing in what even Alastair Campbell described as 'bog standard' comprehensives. Ironically, one of the Anti-Academies Alliance’s principal supporters is Campbell's partner, Fiona Millar.