Peter Hoskin

Getting ready for reform

Getting ready for reform
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Given their position in the polls, and the challenges that face the next government, it's understandable that the Tories are turning their minds to the post-election period.  They've been meeting with high-ranking civil servants for months now, and have been hammering out the details and design of a cuts agenda.  But one of the most striking examples of the Tories' preparedness is outlined in today's Guardian: Michael Gove's team has called in the lawyers to help draft their first education bill.

From the details the Guardian gives, the prospective bill is much as you'd imagine.  For instance, it would remove some of the regulations which currently stand in the way of new academies, as well as abolishing certain quangos and extending freedoms for schools to set their own teachers' pay.  But, putting the specific contents aside, it's encouraging that the Tories are putting in this work now.  Gove's schools reform programme is the most radical, most transformative policy set in the Tory armoury.  And, as such, you suspect that a Cameron government would find it easier - and perhaps even necessary - to push it through during their initial honeymoon period.  Any longer than that, and the scars will have started to accumulate on ministers' backs...