Great news though this is I can see danger in it. My fear is that Charles Clarke and his no-nuffink cohorts in Whitehall have read the first half of latest Harry Potter, but didn’t bother to read all the way top the denouement.
The danger of course being that HMG has been itching to have a go at private schools. The normal method is to threaten them with withdrawal of charitable status. See here, here, and here, and so on. So I can see Charles Clarke not be alarmed as suggested in the Telegraph piece but rubbing his hands with glee. This Government is despised by many of it’s own members, including it’s MPs. They are still driven by the politics of hate and envy. Anything that smacks of elitism, success or tradition is grist to their mill. The Lords, the Constitution, hunting to name but a few. In order to placate these diehard relics HMG periodically throws them a bone. This action by the independent schools may well be the opportunity the government has been waiting for. I can see an IPPR pamphlet calling for the abolition of Charitable status because the schools no longer wish to be part of the broader society. The society of equable failure. With the government needing to keep its fractious backbenchers onside they are a perfect target. And even better the ringleader is Eton, Floreat, Floreat and burn in the PC wars.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully support what the schools are doing but, but I hope they have their defensive strategy worked out.