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Irony that is lost in transmission

YOUR lively account of the Labour party conference fringe meeting, at which I spoke, failed to capture both its mood and substance (FE Focus, September 29).

I went to praise the Government's vision and policies, not to bury them. What we need, as the Learning Skills Council starts, is not a plethora of initiatives but practical implementation and the embedding of good practice.

The very language and concepts we use are too often obscure and forbidding. For example, rather than labelling large numbers of adults "non-learners", we need to encourage them to nae and build on the everyday learning they already undertake in their lives. Similarly, our urge to classify and measure can also inadvertently become a barrier to widening participation.

The danger in reporting jokes is that unless their tone and context are accurately conveyed, they can easily be misunderstood. Far from "condemning" the Government's drive, I am one of its strongest advocates. Incidentally, I am not chairman of the University for Industry, but a non-executive director of UfI Ltd.

Professor Bob Fryer

University of Southampton

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