23rd November 2012 at 00:00

Information overload

The information Authority (IA) may be the body responsible for setting data standards and governing data collection in FE, but its remit doesn't extend to being interesting. That doesn't stop it trying, though: "2012 awareness and perception survey - the results are in" announced its website, vainly trying to add a touch of Strictly Come Dancing-esque drama to a rather undramatic subject.

At the top of the list of the IA's "headline results", it reported that "99 per cent of respondents were aware of the Information Authority before taking the survey". While this bombshell must have sent shock waves through Whitehall, it somehow failed to make its way on to the front page of The Sun or even get a solitary mention on Newsnight, which is surely on the lookout for a safe story.

But FErret can't quite decide on the most fascinating aspect of this statistic: is it the fact that the IA would think that anyone could give a flying funding statement, or is it the revelation that even one individual decided to answer a survey for an organisation they had never heard of?

Cheering the wurst

Earlier this month, Middlesbrough College invoked the spirit of Jim Davidson, thankfully not by mocking gay or disabled people, but by staging its own version of The Generation Game.

Lucky students and members of the public had the chance to mark British Sausage Week by making their own bangers. They had to mix herbs and a variety of meats before passing their concoctions through a sausage-filling machine.

FErret was reminded of Prince Philip's famous utterance, "I'm not the chancellor of a biscuit factory", during his time at the University of Cambridge. But, as if to allay fears that Middlesbrough College was plotting to give up on education for a profitable sideline in chipolatas, chef lecturer Steve Donnison explained: "Sausage-making is just one of the technical skills we teach catering students during their time at the college." That's a relief.

However, if the monstrous creations of this version of The Generation Game are anything to go by, FErret can only sympathise with any unsuspecting diners at the college's cafe the next day who ended up with leftover bulbous bratwurst or chunky chorizo.

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