Every so often, a little book comes along that affirms much of what one thinks, but also manages to pull disparate threads together in a way that clarifies that thinking, and enables one to coherently apply it to one’s work. ‘Kittens are Evil; little heresies in public policy’ is one such book. In this first publication from the Little Heresies seminar series, eight leading thinkers and practitioners in their professional fields, explain how the use of private sector management methods and thinking in the public sector (or New Public Management) creates perverse incentives and does lasting damage to the social fabric. There is much here for schools and school system leaders to dwell on. For example, why marketisation is deeply destructive in the provision of all public services, and how performance management (payment by results, targets, league tables, inspection, etc) guarantee the failure of purpose, reduce efficiency, and increase cost. This could be the most disruptive 90 pages you read this year!

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