If he was worried about the headline that morning, Sir Michael certainly didn’t show it; rarely, outside of the world of Catherine Tate, have I seen a face less bothered …
And I think that, having heard him this fifth time, I could put my finger on what it was that is so impressive about him.
Sir Michael is driven by moral purpose. Absolutely driven.
He used the word ‘moral’ half a dozen times in his speech, usually in the context of the duty that politicians or inspectors or school leaders have regarding children, but once, describing himself ('I have always been motivated by moral purpose’). If one wanted a model for moral leadership, I suspect one could do a good deal worse.
Recently, Sir Michael has been criticising the 'one size fits all’ limitations that most Governments impose on education, linking this blinkered approach with the poor recruitment and retention issues with which schools and school leaders - across sectors, I hasten to add - are faced: