The article provides an overview of the extensive and fast-moving reforms initiated by Michael Gove as the Secretary of State for Education in the years 2010–2014. These include the rapid acceleration of the academisation programme and the development of free schools. There is a more extensive exploration of the reform of the curriculum and the reformation of examination structures. This latter review is set in the context of university advice and against the backdrop of international performance. Much of the focus of the article considers the implementation of the intentions of a minster who had been in waiting for three years before taking office. However, consideration is also given to the unexpected, yet significant, issues which intersect a politician’s tenure of office. The Birmingham based ‘Trojan Horse Schools’ situation is considered both as an issue of accountability but also its implications for the nature of schooling, state funding and societal values.