20th November 2009 at 00:00
Strategy's X factor amp; bolshy badge-bearers

Strategy's X factor

If we have learnt anything from recent events, it must surely be the value of proofreading and its role in avoiding a great deal of embarrassment and pillorying by the tabloids.

So it was a surprise to see a blooper in last week's skills strategy setting out how students would be empowered as education consumers by rating aspects of college provision.

Nicking an illustration from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills' report, it said college ratings on the performance of various courses would be provided by the "XXX Funding Agency".

Well, it is pretty difficult to keep up with all these funding changes. Though perhaps someone at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of all places should have an idea who's in charge.

But when the strategy said inspection grades would be provided by "OFXXX", FErret began to suspect some censorship. The traditional cry that greets inspectors is, of course, spelt out in full as OFUCK.

Bolshy badge-bearers

Lecturers are familiar with disruptive students. So you would think that when they themselves were in the classroom they would be models of good behaviour. Well, not always.

Staff at one college with a somewhat bolshy union branch took exception to their three days of continuing professional development and filed in wearing badges protesting against the compulsory classes.

Not a good start to the lesson. But things went from bad to worse for the luckless course leader, who ended up being denounced as a "fascist" by one of the lecturers. Shocked by the outburst, the course leader walked out.

FErret lacks an Ofsted inspector's training - some say this is a good thing - but that's a grade four lesson in his book. Meanwhile, perhaps the lecturers might reflect on whether it's a good idea for them to behave like teenagers instead of teaching teenagers to act like adults.

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