This morning, the Tories launched the education section of their draft manifesto at the Walworth Academy in south London, one of the ARK schools. The event was memorable for a compelling performance by Michael Gove. Gove, speaking with the passion of a preacher, set out the ‘simple moral purpose’ of expanding opportunity that lay behind his education reform proposals. He detailed how the gap between rich and poor grows as children spend longer in school and how more boys at Eton get three As a A-level each year than all the boys on free school meals in the country. Throughout, he spoke with a moral commitment and intellectual energy that we see all too rarely in British politics.
There are still some details to be filled in on the Tory education plans, we have yet to hear precisely how the pupil premium will work—for example. But overall, the Tories know what they want to do and will be able to move quickly should they win re-election. Speed is of the essence, because if they move fast enough the Tories will be able to show the electorate how their reforms have created more good schools before they go to the country again.