12th October 2012 at 01:00

Work like Churchill and stay in bed a bit longer

How are staff at the Departments for Education and of Business, Innovation and Skills coping with the transition from John Hayes, the poet-philosopher of FE, to Matthew Hancock, the heir to Disraeli, Pitt and Churchill?

FErret understands that the most alarming change has been Mr Hancock's habit of starting work at 8am, instead of the less larkish timetable of his predecessor. That, of course, means that civil servants have to be there and ready to respond at this most uncivilised hour.

They might wish that Mr Hancock would take further inspiration from his role model, Winston Churchill. According to the Churchill Centre and Museum, Churchill's schedule in the late 1920s consisted of waking at 7.30am for a substantial breakfast in bed with the newspapers and then a couple of hours of work, still in bed, before eventually rising at 11am, a far more reasonable time to begin harassing civil servants.

As it is, everyone will just have to struggle to keep up - even Michael Gove, whose wife, The Daily Telegraph has claimed, received a text from Mr Hancock asking why his lift to work with the education secretary was late.

Is it a zombie? Is it a student? It's both

College staff may feel as though the arrival of the great unwashed hordes of teenagers at the beginning of term resembles a zombie invasion.

They won't have batted an eyelid at City of Bath College last week, then, which staged a Zombie Apocalypse as a way to bring together students at the start of the year. Naturally.

An alarm was sounded at the city centre campus and principal Matt Atkinson told students to evacuate the building. Outside, they were met by the undead army. This sort of thing has ended in tears many times in schools with more literal-minded younger students, but FErret is assured that there were no Shaun of the Dead-style cricket bat decapitations, and no brains were eaten in the making of the performance.

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