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Chancellor finds favour on college walkabout

Whatever they might have been thinking, staff and students made the right impression with Gordon Brown when he visited their college.

The Chancellor visited Lewisham College with Education Secretary Alan Johnson.

If Mr Brown makes it to Number 10, everyone in FE will be hoping he remembers the words he was heard muttering during his visit last week.

After making a point of shaking the hand of nearly every student he met, he said: "We won't have any problems engaging them up to the age of 18."

Earlier, though, he chose not to answer a question from a student who asked if last week's Budget was "sneaky" - although he will have been heartened to learn most agreed with his desire to extend compulsory education to 18.

His tour included a visit to an electrical installation lesson, where he chatted to some students about football and their future plans.

He also spoke to dinner ladies on the way out at the end of his visit.

Photograph: Getty

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