Michael Gove is proving himself to be the true radical of this government. It doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with all he is trying to do, but, if politicians are elected to make a difference, he passes the test with flying colours.
Last week, he struck out again in different directions. Little noticed were the extra powers he gained under the Government's proposed reform of the Civil Service.
Two of Britain's strongest trade unions were in operation last week. One was the doctors’ union. The other powerful trade union in operation represents the highest paid civil servants. They thwarted the Government’s Civil Service reforms at birth.
Yet Michael Gove won the right to reform his department. He will consider what are now the functions of his Department, and what staffing is necessary to fit these functions?
His other reform, which gained all the attention, centres on his wish to replace GCSEs with O-Levels.
Instead of competing exam boards that allow wise teachers to shop around for those who set the easiest tasks, there will now be a single board for each subject.
I hope Labour doesn't oppose these reforms, but argues to make them better to ensure that we do not move back to a two- tier system of qualifications for school leavers, and concentrate on the real causes of failure. We already have large numbers of young people leaving Merseyside schools without the minimum five GCSE passes at Grades A* to C, including English and maths.
The main reason why so many pupils fail this minimum test is that they start their secondary education years behind where they should be. But this is not the fault of primary schools.
Increasingly, children are turning up to school totally unprepared for school life: the statistics show this. So Michael Gove needs to be more radical still.
The report I submitted to the Prime Minister in December, 2010, shows that a child’s life chances are possibly determined by age three, and almost certainly by the time they first move into school. To be a truly radical education secretary, Michael Gove now needs to implement that report, entitled The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults.
The report showed that parents are the key driver of children's life chances. It is argued that, if all children are to benefit from their schooling, we have to concentrate our efforts on what happens to children before they set foot in school.
Here is the battle that Mr Gove has to fight. At the pending Cabinet reshuffle, he needs to strike boldly and get a radical appointed as a second Cabinet Minister responsible for the Foundation Years.
He then needs to set clear outcomes for each of the services that are paid to support parents to do the very best possible job in those early years. We are setting up The Birkenhead Education Trust to show that all this is possible.
The Secretary of State will soon not have the excuse that the reforms are not happening anywhere. Although, thank goodness, such arguments have never stopped him in the past.