Some of the country’s most powerful Dons, on the other hand, do now control many schools, across vast swathes of the country. The geography may sometimes appear to be fairly odd, but they are all held together by the classic close-knit familial tie.
Serious amounts of power and wealth are involved at the top of this particular “cosa nostra”. The mere whisper of names like “Reach2”, “The Ark”, “Delta” and “Harris” is enough to bring some of us out in a cold sweat.
Their websites are laden with thinly disguised menace. The mighty “Academies Enterprise Trust” refers darkly to a “golden thread that binds us all together”.
Other formidable families, like “Kemnal” and “United Learning”, openly declare that they “improve the life chances” of their members – with ominous implications for the life chances of any non-members.