29th January 2010 at 00:00
These ovens are empty amp; Film rights

These ovens are empty

Intriguing news on Jamie Oliver's healthy school meals initiative comes from Barnfield College, which took over a couple of academies in Luton two years ago.

It had great success, turning them into the most improved academies in the country and proving that FE colleges don't have to sit and moan about the intake they get from schools - they can change it.

Part of the approach was to instil a sense of discipline and high expectations by measures like banning kids from leaving school at lunch to get high on burgers and fizzy pop.

But one of the unexpected results was a drop in the teenage pregnancy rates, FErret is told. The mind boggles: can the average 14-year-old's idea of a dinner date really be fried food in a polystyrene tray and a fumble behind the Dallas Fried Chicken? Apparently so, but well done Barnfield for raising standards in more ways than one.

Film rights

FErret has been remiss in not welcoming the new general secretary of the Principals' Professional Council, Jean Carter, who began work towards the end of last year following the retirement of Michael Thrower.

The former principal of Enfield College is combining her representation of principals with a return to the classroom as a gardening student at Capel Manor College. She also reveals that as a young woman she dated Bruce Robinson, the writer and director of the film Withnail and I.

An apt choice. In the - apparently somewhat autobiographical - movie, Withnail announces: "At some point or other I want to stop and get a child . to tutor it in the ways of righteousness." What better motto could there be for an FE teacher?

Of course, Withnail's real intention is to obtain "uncontaminated urine" in order to evade the risk of arrest for drunk driving, but FErret considers that a fringe benefit of the education system at most.

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