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FErret

Naked discrimination

Since FErret always stays covered with a thick coat of fur, he's baffled by the appeal of nude modelling. Perhaps now life drawing classes have caused so much trouble for Weston College, staff may come round to his way of thinking.

The college has just lost its second consecutive employment tribunal case brought by 62-year-old Andrew Rogers, who was made redundant after modelling for the college's life drawing classes for a quarter of a century.

Then, he and a former female colleague signed up for the same agency, only for the woman to be hired by the college while Mr Rogers was offered nothing. That earned him #163;6,230 in damages, a sum that would have taken him nearly 500 hours of sitting very still to make, at the Register of Artist's Models' standard rates.

Having recently signed up for another agency and again been overlooked in favour of his female colleague, he was awarded a further #163;5,000. Mr Rogers says he has been caused a great deal of anxiety and has turned down other modelling work as a result. But FErret has to wonder if it would be worth his while to take the necessary time off from suing Weston College, anyway.

College ticked off by sticklers for procedure

Congratulations to the UK Border Agency. Although it may fail in its basic task of allowing people into the country in a timely fashion when they have valid visas and passports, it has nevertheless succeeded in pouncing on the nefarious wrongdoers at Abingdon and Witney College.

Perhaps tipped off by the college's shady connections - prime minister and local MP David Cameron is an occasional visitor - it has withdrawn the college's Highly Trusted Sponsor status, preventing it from recruiting foreign students.

Principal Teresa Kelly said the crackdown was the result of tutors forgetting to inform the Home Office that a Zimbabwean student had moved to another course, which he had a better chance of passing. The Border Agency was unimpressed, perhaps because mistakes are alien to an organisation that suspended passport checks when queues grew too big and failed to monitor Eurostar passengers against lists of known terrorists. Sticklers for procedure, you see.

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