31st August 2012 at 01:00

Trying to be all things to all tweeple #fail

As education secretary Michael Gove's mission to recreate 1950s schooling in 21st-century Britain continues apace, colleges would be well advised to watch what they tweet.

Or retweet, to be more precise. As thousands of GCSE and A-level students have flocked to the nation's FE institutions in recent weeks to collect their results, colleges have been keen to get down with the kids and share the outpourings of celebration posted by their learners.

But in their haste to promote themselves on Twitter, some colleges could perhaps have been a little more discerning in the messages they posted. Judging by the proliferation of smiley faces, LOLs and kisses overwhelming many colleges' timelines, FErret can only conclude that intensive remedial grammar classes are required urgently.

"Well done all GCSE students !!! as long as you know you done your best its all good !! :D" was one of the less nauseating messages, posted by City and Islington College in London.

One new recruit at Craven College in North Yorkshire decided that it would be amusing to share her misfortune with her friends when she tweeted: "Just enrolled at craven college and on my ID card I look like I've had an allergic reaction." However, by deciding to share her message with all 1,383 of its followers, the college may well have sentenced the poor, puffy-faced girl to weeks of cruel mockery from her soon-to-be classmates.

And there is a fine line between a college supporting its learners and letting them hang. Craven also retweeted one learner's message: "Anybody going or know of anybody going to craven college?" The lack of any response will have done little to reassure the girl in question that she is not, in fact, going to the FE equivalent of the Mary Celeste.

However, Craven College should at least be praised for knowing where to draw the line; passing on another applicant's tweet about "bitchy girls enrolling at craven college today" who "think they're Rihanna" would not have been the best recruitment tool.

Although the promise of sitting next to scantily clad classmates could well have led to the number of male applicants rocketing. A missed opportunity, perhaps.

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