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Bean there

A reader and potential adult education lecturer describing herself as "a Wrinklie" has dropped me a line about the frustrations of applying for a PGCE when you're over 50.

It was pointed out to her, she says, that she might be "getting on a bit" to be doing that sort of thing.

"I'm not likely to need maternity leave at my age," she protests, attempting to sell herself further yet touching on a subject this column would do well to steer clear of. Apparently, she says, many FE colleges would rather offer a place on a PGCE course to "a newly-graduated Portuguese with no interest in teaching."

Ah, now we're onto something. Why this obsession with degrees? We non-graduates have to stick together. After all, you don't need a degree to be an education minister (where did you go, Ivan Lewis?).

Surely it therefore follows that you don't need three years of boozing and clumsy sexual experimentation to qualify to become a teacher.

That said, graduates do have one thing which will make them better FE lecturers -the ability to survive on beans on toast.

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