But a couple of things left me a little bemused. The first was that, despite this rhetoric, there was very little practical information of how they intended to achieve this vision. OK, so that is normal for political speeches. But the reality is that while their ideas are mighty, their practice (an entirely new primary curriculum in both content and organisation and the abolishment of measures of progress and attainment with no suggested alternatives - schools are advised to work this out themselves or pay for someone else to with money they don't have) has created confusion and a void.
While I believe great things can spring out of this in the spirit of innovation and freedom from red tape, it requires strong leadership in and across schools. Yet the profession is facing a leadership crisis, especially in certain areas and sectors, as well as a recruitment and retention crisis at a classroom level too. Add to this huge cuts in funding and the fragmentation of the system across free schools, academies and all others (itself divisive, confusing and demoralising in the face of the governments concentrated support for free schools and academies to the neglect of much else) and it is a bit like the wild west.
In the meantime, at the school level, we are trying to make sense of what we've got and how we can move forward. Personally, I am excited about being given the space to drive improvement from the ground up. Although...it would be nice to know what we will be measured against. Delegates at a recent training course I attended run by the local authority were convinced that Ofsted were coming in looking only for things the school was failing on so they could rate them Requires Improvement and start the process of making them academies. Whatever this might or might not mean in terms of making them a better school, they were feeling disempowered, distrustful and disinclined to dance to a tune that was being driven by a remote political agenda.
None-the-less, I remain hopeful that the remarkable convergence of knowledge and understanding from sectors such as education, psychology, neuroscience, change management and leadership skills will give us the insight and tools we need to build great education - just so long as the government mean it when they say they want us to take responsibility and provide us with the support and time we need to grow the capacity and capital of the profession.