There is a story of a famous professor who, though he had written a number of significant papers about quality in education, had not visited a school for over 20 years. A new young colleague persuaded him to visit a local school that had acquired a reputation for the excellence of its work. On the journey back from the visit the young lecturer asked the professor to comment on what he had seen. After a moment’s silence the professor replied, ‘I’m just thinking, would it work in theory?’