BY JOE jENICINS
THE HEADMASTER of the Catholic school attended by one of Tony Blair's sons has played down comments he made in a Sunday newspaper in which he attacked Labour education policy.
John McIntosh, headmaster at the Oratory School in west London, promptly issued a statement via the Press Association to dampen down his remarks. He told The Sunday Times that he had reservations about Labour's plans to impose local authority governors on grant-maintained schools and that he is unhappy that Labour want to reserve some monies intended by Whitehall for grant-maintained schools for distribution by town halls rather than by the schools themselves.
Mr McIntosh told The Sunday Times: "Nobody has demonstrated it would bring any benefits whatsoever to the school. I feel that grant-maintained schools have been very successful and I think they are ripe for further development. I think they are now well established and I would like to see grant-maintained schools given greater autonomy."
A Labour source replied: "It is an outrage that a publicity-seeking headmaster should exploit the fact that Tony Blair's son is at his school." Mr McIntosh told the Press Association that his views had been "misrepresented" and bemoaned the publicity he had drawn to the school. But he did not deny the content of his comments. The school told the Herald that Mr McIntosh had nothing more to add.
Mr McIntosh has run into trouble with comments made to the Press before. Last July he told The Sunday Telegraph that the school would consider going independent if its grant maintained status came under threat under Labour. In a letter to the Herald, governors dismissed Mr McIntosh's comments as "private anxieties".