On one level, I am tempted to say that the state education sector is none of the Tories’ business, and that that is all there is to it. In health, we see the very underrated Alan Johnson moving away from Tony Blair’s Howard Hughes-like fear of the “dirty” public sector. That moving away cannot possibly happen too quickly across all policy areas.
But in education, the parties are now engaged in a bidding war to see who can move closest to promising the all-out abolition of state schools as such, with schools instead functioning as universities used to: the State will merely pay the fees of most pupils at what will in fact be private institutions. Means testing will follow rapidly after that, and then up-front payment of fees, or the replacement of State payment with loans, or some combination of the two. Except for viewers in Scotland. Of course.
As for Academies as such, since we are going to have them, is there any pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war reader who might be able to find a one-off sum of two, four or six million pounds in return for one, two or three Academies to be run in accordance with economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriotism, in partnership with splendidly “statist, syndicalist, nationalist, theoconservative and provincial” politicians? If so, then do get in touch as a matter of the utmost urgency: firstname.lastname@example.org