19th February 2010 at 00:00
It's a knockout. and. You've been quango'd

It's a knockout

Congratulations to Bolton Community College on the opening of its Boxing Academy, and for the coup in managing to secure WBA light welterweight world champion Amir Khan to cut the ribbon.

There is, however, a possible PR problem for an educational institution to promote a sport which involves repeated blows to the skull, and it was good to see Mr Khan, a former sports student at the college, tackle it head on.

"Our new academy is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Bolton. Boxing is often thought of as a violent sport, but that's not the case. Through my experience, I have found it instills discipline and respect, and is a great way to keep fit," he said.

Mr Khan's experience, which includes just one professional defeat, may not be universal. Boxing could be said to be a great way to keep fit in the same way that the Battle of Agincourt was good target practice, as long as you weren't French.

Good luck to the academy, though, and may its students always find themselves on the right end of the punch.

You've been quango'd

We've all had those anxiety dreams: you're in the exam room, you haven't done your revision, you look down at the paper and your mind goes blank.

A similar panic must have been felt by FE minister Kevin Brennan last week when the skills select committee asked him to list all the bodies involved in FE funding.

Well, there's the SFA, the YPLA, local authorities, the RDAs, sub-regional partnerships, SSCs, er, BIS of course, the DCSF . Is that it? There's probably a few more.

But the minister was smart enough not to fall for the trap of merely answering the question. Instead he said that the system was complex, businesses found it complicated, he found it complicated, and it needed simplification.

FErret held its breath: that's what a minister normally says before he creates a new FE quango.

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