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Department fails to get off runway

You would think that a conference at Stansted airport - less than 40 miles from Whitehall - would be pretty easy to get to, but still there was no show from the Department of Work and Pensions at the Association of Learning Providers' annual bash.

Thankfully Bill Rammell, the higher and further education minister, was his usual self, I hear, openly answering 15 unprepared questions from delegates and doing the Department for Education and Skills proud.

So, it's DfES 1, DWP 0.

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