Further education colleges are still nervously attempting to get the measure of Roger McClure, new chief executive of the FE funding council. All signs, even the apparently insignificant, are carefully analysed for an insight into what to expect.

Imagine the consternation of representatives of the Association of Scottish Colleges on a recent visit to the council's Edinburgh HQ for a routine meeting.

The room allocated for the pre-meeting contained a potentially chilling portent: the wall was adorned by a print of a papal bull, issued by Alexander (the notorious Borgia Pope).

Considerable discussion ensued as to who in the funding council might be assigned other Borgia identities.

It must have been thoughts of Cesare and Lucrezia bumping off their nearest and dearest that prompted the delegation to arrive tactfully late for lunch - and to avoid touching the food until the council's officers got stuck in.

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