3rd June 2011 at 01:00

Site for sore eyes?

A telling contrast emerged in a couple of recent parliamentary questions about the upheavals in student support for HE and FE.

Former home secretary David Blunkett asked HE minister David Willetts how much his department has to spend on publicising the changes to fees and loans for university students. Turns out he's set aside pound;1.475 million and the Student Loans Company has pound;1.3 million. That should help ensure our brightest, most academic students don't have to research the details themselves.

Meanwhile, MP Chuku Umunna asked schools minister Nick Gibb how much was being spent to let under-18 students know about the abolition of the education maintenance allowance and the new bursaries. Well, there's a new page on the website!

Perfect. The half a million students from poor families who claimed the EMA are, of course, avid readers of the Department for Education website, and refresh it constantly. Sounds like everything will work out fine.

Two become one

News that Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College is to be renamed West Lancashire College is a cause for real joy. Why?

It's no reflection on those two fine Lancashire towns, of course. But it is a reflection on the infuriating name the college used for a while, prior to becoming part of the Newcastle College empire.

"Skelmersdale and Ormskirk Colleges" was what they called it, despite the fact that it was a single college corporation, sending The TES sub-editors into a spin as they tried to parse sentences such as "Skelmersdale and Ormskirk Colleges has decided ."

With the creation of West Lancashire College from August this year, that memory can finally be put to rest.

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