Thank you so much to all those who squeezed in to my Deliberately Difficult session at Wellington today.

Photo by @headguruteacher

Photo by @headguruteacher

I realise that lots of people were unable to see the screen due to the thronging hordes (really!) blocking their view, so here, as promised, are the slides I used :

As ever, I met some lovely people; some for the first time, some old acquaintances. But particular highlights for me were having lunch with childhood hero Johnny Ball (and getting the gossip on what really goes on at Strictly Come Dancing!) and being taught by the wonderfully erudite grammarian par excellance Nevile Gwynne.

I loved Mr Gwynne’s (and it most definitely is ‘Mr’!) rallying cry: make war on creativity; knowledge of the rules must come first. A sentiment which rather echoes the one I expressed here.


There were a few disappointments, chief among them being the surprising inarticulacy of Tristram Hunt. He was billed as ‘the voice of opposition’ and he certainly lived up the the meaningless meandering we’ve become so used to from Labour on education. And a sharp contrast to Lord Adonis who spoke fluently and passionately on school governance, apprenticeships and Teach First.

In all in all, a rich and varied menu. I hope I’m invited back next year.