One enjoyable, though probably fruitless, way to spend an afternoon would be to discuss which is the most prominent or important political value, which ideal carries most clout in political debates – in public bars or parliaments. Candidate values might include justice (more particularly, human rights or equality), democracy, and certainly, liberty. It is hard to think of a political manifesto that does not trumpet the prospect of liberty – and it is easy to think of fractious political disputes where freedom1 is a contender on both sides of the issue. Freedom in education requires the provision of educational opportunity for all, free at the point of service, some say; others, that it signals the parents’ freedom to choose the education they judge best for their child. These different aspirations may collide if resources do not permit them both to be fulfilled.