Whatever the internal machinations that led to Andrew Adonis being moved from schools to transport, the former´s loss is undoubtedly the latter´s gain. One hopes that Ed Balls is now firmly committed to academies, and that the Tory charges prove groundless. The evidence has certainly been more encouraging in recent months. And I have no knowledge of Sarah McCarthy-Fry´s views on schools - I hope she proves an able minister.
But Andrew´s contribution went far beyond a commitment to academies. He had an instinctive grasp of the important issues in schools policy and understood where Labour should be in those debates. He had a hand in creating the National College for School Leadership, Excellence in Cities and the London Challenge, all of which have helped improve school standards no end. Moreover, he had an eye for detail and a tenacious understanding of delivery, qualities that are all too rare in ministers. It is vital those qualities are not lost in his absence.