FErret

12th March 2010 at 00:00
Pint-sized learning amp; Men who stare at funds

Pint-sized learning

Is teaching in adult education driving you to drink? Now teaching and boozing are forming an exciting partnership, with a Warwickshire pub offering itself as a community learning venue.

The Raglan Arms in Rugby is offering its 20-cover snug to groups who want to run volunteer adult education courses, as part of the Government's Learning Revolution - the revolutionary bit being, of course, that the state doesn't have to pay for it.

It's an interesting move for Labour, which famously owes more to Methodism than Marxism. The Methodists encouraged education and railed against the evils of drink, while new Labour has a more pragmatic approach: if you can't beat `em, join `em.

But until now, alcohol and learning were not usually considered an ideal combination, except in universities. Still, FE lecturers are used to students forgetting everything that happened the day before, so they should be well-prepared.

Men who stare at funds

First it was FE minister Kevin Brennan dodging the Commons select committee's question of exactly how many agencies would be involved in the new FE funding system.

Now word reaches FErret that former apprenticeships minister Lord Young has joined the ranks of the many people in doubt about how the new arrangements will work.

Audience members at a pre-election debate hosted by the Association of Colleges say he was asked about the changes to the funding system, and he said he had told officials to draw a diagram for him of how it worked.

And then he looked at it, and he was none the wiser.

Indeed. Stare too long at a diagram of how the Skills Funding Agency and Young People's Learning Agency will liaise with regions, sub-regional bodies, local authorities and sector skills councils and the diagram of HTSFAAYPLAWLWRSRBLAASSCs (as we tend to refer to it at TES Towers) stares into you.

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