Don't forget who put you there

6th February 2004 at 00:00
Colleges are attempting to pull on the heart strings of education hacks as they plead for more attention from the national media.

By failing to give further education the coverage it deserves, we are biting the hand that feeds us, according to the Association of Colleges.

The AoC says if a reporter has a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualification, the chances are the course was run by an FE college.

Yet, says the AoC: "Sometimes journalists tend to concentrate on higher education and the schools sector, forgetting about FE."

A bit rough, admittedly, considering the attention newspapers pay to that other alma mater of so many journalists, Oxbridge. Sadly, though, some colleges' enthusiasm for the NCTJ has dwindled. The standards it sets are apparently too high for some, which find themselves losing out financially when students fail to qualify at the end of the course.

One of the sticking points is the 100 word-a-minute shorthand trainees need before they can take the final proficiency test. As one principal said:

"They use tape recorders now, don't they?"

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