30th July 2010 at 01:00

Hard and fast

Enjoying your holidays, readers? Just kidding! FErret knows that in the modern, go-getting world of further education, no one is allowed a break and students are educated around the clock, all year, whether they like it or not.

That much was made clear by Paul Head, principal of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London - nicknamed CHENEL, like a bad knock-off handbag - in an aside at the ministerial speech he hosted. He said: "People said, `You're doing this in July? Aren't you on holiday?' No, we're a 52-week-a-year college."

Detailing the myriad activities taking place at the college seemed to rile FE minister John Hayes, however, who listed all his recent appointments to demonstrate that however hard principals work, ministers work harder.

Boys, boys, boys: can't we all just agree that none of you work as hard as journalists? No?

Elementary, FE

Hurrah for the BBC's new modernised Sherlock Holmes series, whose creator Steven Moffat - a former schoolteacher - chose to set the first episode's climax in a further education college.

It was superior to Guy Ritchie's messing about on a half-finished Tower Bridge, and it would have allowed Sherlock to accredit his deduction skills with an NVQ (an opportunity missed, alas).

One person was not happy, however, posting on Twitter to point out that Sherlock Holmes had now visited more FE colleges than the average National Union of Students executive member. As the great detective would say: "Education never ends!"

A question of quangos

Well done to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, which issued a report proposing the closure of education quangos to save money. It named Niace (a charity), the Learning and Skills Network (non-profit company) and proposed cuts to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, which have already been made. Who is it that should be abolished, again?

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