Francis Beckett

I've seldom regretted accepting a speaking invitation so much as last Sunday, when I turned up at the Sunday Times/Wellington College Festival of Education.  Apparently they're trying to get more speakers on the left for next year, and I hope no one's going to make the mistake I made, of allowing himself to be used as window-dressing for Edubusiness.


The place was full of the usual suspects doung business, and all I heard in the tea room was sleek private school heads patronising gauche but impressionable state school heads.

Despite promises, my two books on education weren't available in the bookshop, and my “The Great City Academy Fraud” was even censored out of my profile in the programme. As the token leftie, I wasted a beautiful Sunday to get five minutes on "What makes a good speech great" sandwiched between four other speakers and a very talkative chairman.