10th February 2012 at 00:00

Twigging a basic error

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg released a statement saying plenty of sensible things about how young people are not benefiting from the growth in apprenticeships. Alas, the effect was somewhat spoiled when it came to detailing how Mr Twigg would be marking the week.

A note to reporters said that he was visiting Appleton Academy, a school sponsored by Bradford College, as part of Apprenticeship Week. There was only one problem: there are no apprentices at Appleton Academy.

That should have been obvious to Labour's team: after all, if you're in school, you can't also be in work and learning on the job.

But, for the avoidance of doubt, the school only launched its post-16 provision last academic year and detailed all the subjects it offers: Btecs in science and sport, along with A levels in English literature, maths, IT, business, design, geography, history, RE, law and psychology. No apprenticeships.

FErret hopes that this does not mark a precedent for Mr Twigg, or else by October he will be celebrating Black History Month at a British National Party rally.

A snapshot of commerce at play in the classroom?

The diversity of courses at the typical college is a thing of wonder. So FErret is not entirely critical when he notes that Kensington and Chelsea College has developed a five-week course introducing students to using their iPhone cameras.

Sure, everyone is trying to increase their commercial course income in these straitened times. But FErret does have to raise a furry eyebrow somewhat when one bears in mind that this is a phone camera that essentially has just one button: you tap it and it takes a picture.

"I developed the course after discovering there were a lot of people who had an iPhone who didn't really know how to use the camera," said course creator Richard Gray. "No longer do you need expensive or complex equipment to produce great images."

Presumably, he'll be spending five weeks shouting "YOU JUST PRESS THE BUTTON!" at bewildered iPhone fans.

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