6th August 2010 at 01:00
FErret gets the inside track on the Learning and Skills Council and FE minister John Hayes

Not a golden goodbye

Time once again to drag up the corpse of the Learning and Skills Council and put another stake through its heart, just in case.

Publication of its final annual report contained one surprise: Mark Haysom, the former chief executive who resigned over the capital funding fiasco with a pound;120,000 payoff, also received a bonus of pound;36,000 in his last year.

Now FErret would barely bat a furry eyelid at seeing chief executives rewarded for failure: what's new? Except that the LSC had specifically said that he would not be receiving a bonus as a result of his resignation.

It turns out that the bonus paid at the end of 2008-09 related to the previous year, when of course the LSC was totally on top of the capital situation and not in any way sowing the seeds of its destruction.

What they meant then is he wouldn't be getting a bonus at the end of 2009- 10, a year and eight days after he had left the organisation. One might have thought it would go without saying, but kudos to the LSC for its commitment to clarity.

Taint of quotes abused

Busted! FE minister John Hayes has been dazzling all and sundry with his erudite speeches, drawing on quotations from Churchill to W.B. Yeats, and prompting FErret to develop his patented pretentiometer.

But thanks to an eagle-eyed sub editor at TES Towers, doubts have been cast over his breadth of reading. FErret, whose reading material these days consist solely of gems such as "Adult Safeguarded Learning (ASL) Funding Circular: Certification of the Use of Funds", was out of his depth on this one.

The minister quoted Shakespeare on the need to sweep away "the dust of creeds outworn". Er, except that was Shelley more than 200 years later in Prometheus Unbound. So was it just a slip after reading through the Dictionary of Quotations for something that sounded fancy? We should be told.

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