Thursday 2 February 2012

Can't stop. Off to the Ministry to see Nick Gibb.

In a few minutes I'll be meeting the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb. He asked to see me to talk about 'how to encourage children to read'.

In the words of Terry Venables, it's deja-vu all over again.

While I was Children's Laureate I was in and out of the Ministry faster than Sugar Ray Leonard's left jab. Who didn't I get to see! Oh it was fun. If it wasn't Ed Balls telling me that schools were reading books - he'd seen a school where they were reading in the playground, it was Jim Knight telling me that I had a point but he was moving on, it was Vernon Coaker telling me that they had just the same problem with PE - 'variability, Michael, variability', it was Jim Rose with his 'how do you make books come alive, Mike?', it was Phil Hammond from Ofsted telling me about how it was all very well people reading poems by you, Michael, but what about the other poets? it was Margaret Hodge saying, 'And what's happening with libraries, Michael, what's going on? and there was even one young woman who came up to me furtively as I came out of one of those meetings to ask me if I knew 'anything about multi-cultural education' because she had a report to write...

Maybe I could get a job up there - odd job man: 'Mend your light, Mr Gove?', 'Got a spot of bother with your taps, Mr Gibb.' 'Oh did that Mr Balls leave a mess on his desk? Don't worry, I'll give it a good old wipe down with swarfega...'