New shadow Education Secretary David Willetts visited his former Birmingham primary school yesterday - and admitted his party has no education policies of its own.
Instead Mr Willetts, who took over the role last week, claimed the Conservatives' key task was ensuring Labour drove through its reforms.
Speaking at Wylde Green Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, Mr Willetts said: "I have just become the shadow Secretary of State for Education and am keen to listen to the teaching profession - and where better to start than at the primary where I started some 40 years ago?"
Mr Willetts echoed his party leader David Cameron's "consensus" emphasis on supporting the Government when the Tories believed it was right.
And on schools, his party appears to believe education reforms announced in October by Tony Blair giving schools greater independence are what is needed.
"If the broad thrust of the Prime Minister's reforms is to give more autonomy to schools we will back it," he said.
The only concern expressed by Mr Willetts was the possibility of Labour backbenchers derailing them.
"What we are saying is we are going to hold Mr Blair to live up to his rhetoric. These are very early days. One of the first tests of a new Conservative Party will be in the legislation in the spring from the Government on education.
"If the Government has bold measures that will raise educational standards, we will support them."
Not, on the face of it, a particularly inspiring policy statement upon which to win a General Election - even one which, at present, is but a distant speck on the horizon.
However, formulating policies, according to Mr Willetts, is a work in progress.
"We have just lost an election," he said. "The policies and the manifesto on which we fought the last election are not really the policies on which we will fight the next election.
"We start with a fresh piece of paper. I am starting with a fresh piece of paper. This is a process that will take months and years. We are having policy reviews and hope to report within 18 months.
"We are starting with our eyes and ears open."
The Conservatives have had much of their thunder on education stolen by Labour.
In October, the Government announced reform proposals to give schools greater freedom to set their own ethos and admission policy.
Parents and other organisations would be given greater powers to set up new schools, expanding on the city academy concept to tackle under-achievement.
Local education authorities would be given a reduced role, with schools gaining "trust" status.
The proposals could almost have been taken straight from a Conservative policy booklet on education published three years ago.
Called No Child Left Behind, it advocates allowing "charities, parents and other groups to establish excellent new schools".
Former shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins, speaking before the 2004 General Election, stressed: "We want to free things up so faith groups, parents, businesses and all organisations find it much easier if they want to set up schools".
And so, returning to his old school yesterday, all that was left for Mr Willetts was to recite what has already been said.
"I want to see a greater range of schools and schools with greater control over their admissions," he said. "But the main focus is on raising standards in every school."