Man up, Hammond, and show your face to the cameras

I wrote a grumpy thing this week.

Twice a year, when the Chancellor announces their budgets in the Commons, Schools Week’s designer and I huddle around a screen to select which photograph will go on the front.

In previous years we had lots of choices. George Osborne may not have been a charismatic man, but he knew how to pose for a photo with his red briefcase or turquoise book and smile. When he said every school was about to become an academy it caused a roar, but at least people knew who to direct it toward.


The new political leadership are purposely less flashy. In part, it’s to show they’re down with the “ordinary folk”; in bigger part, it deflects their decisions.

Which is why, when I saw the picture of new chancellor Philip Hammond, creeping out of No 11 before rushing off so quickly that the photos look like they were taken by a six-year-old on a disposable camera, I got a little grumpy.

One picture, where he was looking downwards, particularly got my goat. In response I tweeted: “Maybe our front page can say: ‘If I just don’t look at schools, THEIR BUDGETS WON’T EXIST.”

Super grumpy. But true.

Schools are getting towards a budget crunch point but the government are averting their eyes, running away, simply screaming “grammar schooools” as they go.

If you have to tell someone bad news, you should show up looking the part, look them in the eye and say it.

Sigh. Whoever thought I’d end 2016 actually missing George Osborne? No wonder I’m feeling grumpy.

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