Anyone enquiring, as a colleague did recently, about what England's Department for Education is 'doing' about sustainable development, gets a response like this:
The Department for Education is committed to sustainable development. As set out in our current Business Plan, covering the period 2012-15, we will ‘assess and manage environmental, social and economic impacts and opportunities in our policy development and decision making’.
Individual policy teams take responsibility for the environmental, social and economic opportunities of their policies. Our Central Capital Unit works closely with the Education Funding Agency to ensure that new schools reflect the best environmental practice. The Government decided that children should learn about climate change as a compulsory element of the new national curriculum, and colleagues in the Curriculum Policy Division are continuing to ensure that the new programmes of study for geography and science cover this issue in depth at key stage 3 and above.
We continue to work with DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and DfID (Department for International Development) to ensure that while focussing on the Department’s key priorities we also meet our cross-government, international and legal obligations.
So that's alright, then.
Well, of course, it's not. This is the DfE straight bat; a solid defensive stance trying to cover all the stumps, and with both feet well inside the crease. I'd say that it will take an in-swinging yorker to discomfort them. SEEd is having a go at this, assembling a team of strike bowlers from its friends in the campaigning business to try to influence what the main 2015 election manifestos say. In reality, it will likely be finesse rather than pace that will break the resistance. Let's hope Graham Swann is on the team.
Of course, this is a limited overs match, and SEEd may well be hoping for most luck with the side current fielding. We shall see.