A group of head teachers attended a school improvement meeting to discuss values-led educational development. They were asked to consider the potential beneficial effects for their schools of actions to support the flourishing of play, learning, teaching and relationships, rather than directly on a narrow range of attainment outcomes. One of the heads present was clear that this way was not for him. He had just moved into his school, was determined to drive up standards and said he couldn’t risk spending the time on an approach that might yield greater gains in the end but might not produce results fast enough for the next inspection. It was suggested that he was talking as if he would do anything to make sure that attainments improved even if he knew that what he was doing was unsustainable by which time he would have left the school. He responded: “well, that is the game we are in”.