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FErret

Pathway to the Pope

Last week saw a meeting of infallible leaders with millions of devoted followers. And the Pope and the Queen were there too.

The head of the CofE and Defender of the Faith, along with God's representative on earth, were lucky enough to meet the leaders of four FE organisations in Edinburgh. FErret trusts they were suitably respectful.

Martin Doel, Association of Colleges boss, Lynne Sedgmore, head of the 157 Group, Graham Hoyle, Association of Learning Providers chief and Alan Tuckett, Niace supremo, all joined the welcome at Holyrood House.

FErret hears attendees were split into groups with only some due to greet the Pope. His spy said Ms Sedgmore got around this by slipping past a barrier to join the chosen ones. Quite right too. The Pope would have been terribly disappointed otherwise.

Doublethink on data

The Information Authority has always had a bit of an Orwellian ring to it, so it's good to see it living up to the title.

College data managers, smarting at claims they had fiddled their success rates, are puzzled by a new order to massage the figures to turn some Train to Gain learners listed as "funded" to "unfunded" because of over-recruitment.

A year ago, the line from the then Learning and Skills Council was: "Once a learner is recorded as LSC funded, this must not be changed in any circumstance unless the LSC, at a national level, explicitly states this is permitted through further guidance."

But the IA has ruled the latest instructions "are consistent with previous instructions from the LSC about TtG". There's no inconsistency as the rules allow them to change the rules! We're at war with Eurasia, and we've always been at war with Eurasia.

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