Roy and Lynne: Question Time guests should have made peace over schools

LYNNE Featherstone made all the suitable irritated noises every time Lord Roy Hattersley cut her off on Question Time last night. ‘Ooh, so arrogant,’ she puffed, every time he spoke across her.

It was a little duel far more interesting than half an hour of debating whether or not Gordon Brown should have gone on the Piers Morgan show. The worst bit of that: Some Mr Middlesbrough telling us all that Brown’s advisers would have warned him that Piers would be ‘put him through the ringer’. Come on, PM on PM  wasn’t Frost/Nixon sonny..

Anyway, back to Lynne Featherstone’s irritation with Hattersley. Who knows what happened in the green room afterwards, whether when the cameras stopped rolling they were all matey over a glass of wine. But one conversation that they surely could have found some common ground on is the the life and times of Fortismere Secondary School up in Muswell Hill.

After all, Featherstone (a 20-1 on cert to be returned in Hornsey and Wood Green this year) was bang all over the Keep Fortismere Comprehensive when the school applied for trust status a few years back and protested against its apparent desire to operate outside of traditional local authority control. Parents – you  might remember from an earlier post – felt the school was reserving its places for Haringey’s brightest, or at least those living within hardly a hair’s breadth of its N10 site.

Why would Lord Roy be interested in all that? His wife Molly, Lady Hattersley, is the school’s former headteacher, celebrated for being in charge during an attempt to diversify the intake in the 1970s. Then called Creighton, the school tried to encourage more ethnic minorities and disadvantaged children to enroll. To the KFC campaigners, that worthy ambition will sound like the complete opposite to what’s gone at Fortismere in the last few years.

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