An excellent Today programme this morning, with so many interesting items that it is hard to decide which should be singled out.
The only jarring point was a discussion between Joan McVittie, Head of Woodside High School in White Hart Lane in north London and the Bishop of Oxford.
Joan McVittie openly told us that she had decided to ignore the law in the school that has been entrusted to her care. She then used unproven sociological theories to justify why she was doing this. It was yet another example of why the state system in the United Kingdom is failing (even in officially "unfailed" Woodside High School) - the teachers are completely out of control and just do what they like, confident that they cannot be removed from their post no matter how badly they behave (in this case acting illegally and boasting about it on national radio).
It's not for teachers to solely decide what happens in schools, nor even for parents (although they should have a significant say). We all support the state education system through our taxes, and although as a taxpayer I do not want to micro-manage what happens in Woodside High School in Wood Green, if society through the parliamentary process imposes a legal requirement on the school it is reasonable to expect the Head to make sure it happens. If Joan McVittie wants to have absolute control she should found her own school outside of the state system and pay for it by selling places commercially (if she can find anyone to buy her particular philosophy).
Also I'm not all that happy about what the Bishop of Oxford said. The Church of England goes on and on about justice and democracy and yet the position of bishops is now entirely undemocratic (no longer being genuinely selected by the Prime Minister, which in the past provided a slender democratic endorsement). If Anglican bishops were directly elected by Anglican communicants we certainly would not have "wishy washy" representatives appearing on the Today programme on Radio 4.