3rd October 2008 at 01:00

Booklet pulls them in

It was once said of hospitality-loving Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue, that she would attend the opening of an envelope, and who can blame her?

So who was I, a humble scribbler, to turn down an invitation to an event which must surely be even more exciting than that - the launch of a booklet.

The publication in question is called "The hands-on guide to post-16 funding". And, I must confess, I had some doubts about the prospect of the document pulling in the crowds, despite the enthusiasm of the PR person from Edexcel, the awarding body which has published it.

It seems I was wrong. At a venue just round the corner from the Savoy in London, with spectacular views over the Thames, was gathered a veritable galaxy of appreciative principals. The publication is by Nick Linford, the planning and performance director at Lewisham College in south London.

I decided I had better take a closer look at the work and, it must be said, it has succeeded in unravelling the machinations of further education funding in refreshingly plain English.

Of course, no self-respecting member of the FE community would admit to having any gaps in their knowledge of every nuance of funding policy, which is what makes this small and easily hidden little volume such a lifesaver.

It was clear that Monday's launch amounted to more than the suppression of mutual loathing in pursuit of free alcohol.

Indeed, the sense of relief among principals was palpable. My copy is close at hand.

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