18th March 2011 at 00:00

Where there's muck .

What is the most brass-necked aspect of the Institute for Learning's desire to more than double its fees for lecturers? There is a bit of competition.

First is the claim that the IfL is good value because of its success in lobbying for FE teaching qualifications to be accepted in schools. While that's a worthy achievement, FErret has to wonder if arguing for equality with schoolteachers is a good look for the IfL at the moment. Because one thing schoolteachers won't have to do in future is shell out for a professional body, still less pay more than double for it.

But that is not the winner. When FE Focus asked for details of the greater costs faced by the IfL that justified the price hike, one of the responses was: "The overall number of members is likely to reduce as budget cuts for the sector are likely to result in fewer teachers or trainers and this may reduce the scope for economies of scale."

Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen: you are paying the costs of your friends and colleagues being sacked. That's chutzpah!

A rose by any name

Name recognition is vital for any election candidate, but for Shane Chowen, outgoing FE vice-president at the NUS, things are not going so smoothly.

Mr Chowen, who is a candidate for the NUS presidency, tweeted that he was stopped by a man who said he recognised him from the telly. "I've been on the news a few times," Mr Chowen said. "No, no, my daughter thinks you're off CBBC," the man replied.

Rigorous due diligence by FErret was inconclusive as to which of CBBC presenters Iain Stirling or Chris Johnson he could have been referring to, but then, all young people look the same these days. Unless, of course, they confused him with puppet Hacker T Dog.

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