There was never much doubt, but now it’s official. Gove’s over-riding priority is to establish free schools, and proclaim them a success. If some of them look like not being a success, they get very fast, very special, very expensive attention, to make sure that they don’t become embarrassing failures. Preferably, the Department for Education move in before Ofsted get the chance; that way, damning headlines are kept to a minimum. It’s the Blair/Campbell handbook, perfected by George Osborne. Politics as chess. Outwit the opponent, seize the initiative, make sure the headlines are on your side. There is no recognition in this devious calculation of advantage that this is about the education that kids are or should be getting.