Michael Gove has just given an extremely well-received half-hour presentation to party members at the spring forum on the key points of party policy on his education brief.
He prefaced his points by saying that comparing education performances with the past is no longer enough and that we need to look at international comparisons - on which measures Britain's rankings on literacy, maths and science has been falling under Labour against other countries.
He bemoaned the fact that pupils from the poorest backgrounds had the lowest likelihood of getting good GCSE and A Level results, describing this lack of social mobility as "a tragedy".
- Underperforming schools will be taken out of local authority control: This will allow schools to flourish in the way that City Technology Colleges did - by "freeing them from the obsessive micromanagement of government and stifling local bureacracy";
- Freedom will be restored to the highest performing schools: As was the case with grant maintained status, but with the proviso that they have a partner school which is underperforming or failing - "liberating the strong to help the weak; helping the weak by empowering the strong".
- Steps will be taken to protect teachers, who currently cannot restrain violent children or impose detentions;
- The teacher will be in charge: Mr Gove promised to "safeguard the rights of the majority, not defer to the human rights of the troublemakers";
- The head teacher's word will be final on exclusions;
- Disruptive children would get the care they need and "tough love" at an appropriate alternative school;
- The base of people brought into the teaching profession will be broadened, for example using those who have been in the services.