9th October 2009 at 01:00
Out of order amp; prosthetics paddle

Out of order

This week, FE Focus reveals that colleges are messing with forces they may not fully understand: the same sinister power which brought Noel Edmonds back to our screens.

Cosmic ordering classes are on offer at West Cheshire and Mid-Cheshire colleges - is there a ley line running through the county? - offering the credulous a chance to pay over pound;30 for a course on wishing for nice things from the universe, like a kind of all-year-round letter to Santa.

Still, the pedigree of West Cheshire course leader and former photocopier saleswoman Marie-Claire Carlyle cannot be denied - she is a descendant of the 19th century Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle. These days, she finds herself sharing stages with noted perjurer Jeffrey Archer and ex- pornographer David Gold at conferences for wannabe millionaires. She also promotes the self-help outfit the Landmark Forum, which once claimed the power to bring about world peace.

West Cheshire College may have got lucky with its own cosmic order for the last tranche of capital funding, but FErret believes education institutions should be teaching people to see through this nonsense, not promoting it.

Prosthetics paddle

Glenn Eldridge, Cornwall College's daredevil sports science lecturer, just won't give up. Not content with setting a record time for paddling from Cornwall to the Scilly Isles on a surfboard two years ago, he was at it again this week.

This time he was kayaking the same 33-mile distance, a small concession to prudence given that his little craft would be scuttling between giant oil tankers on the three-and-a-half-hour voyage.

FErret can't recommend this hazardous behaviour and urges lecturers to seek alternative leisure activities, such as a drink in the pub or perhaps a short walk.

But it was for a good cause: the Handstand Appeal, which raises funds for Marshall Johnson, 1, who lost his legs and hands to meningitis and needs expensive prosthetics. Well done, Glenn.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today