Grin and swear it with the AoC

11th November 2005 at 00:00
It looks like the leaders of lecturers' union Natfhe will deprive themselves of their three-course nosh-up at the Association of Colleges'

annual conference next week.

They will have been hard at work outside the Birmingham conference centre on Wednesday during the union's one-day strike (see above).

It seems that Natfhe's luminaries, including the ever-smiling head of colleges Barry Lovejoy, feel they should retreat to the nearest Balti, along with their comrades.

John Brennan, the AoC's chief executive, tells me there are no hard feelings and no question of barring the union from the celebrated conference gala dinner.

Shame. Natfhe's presence after a few drinks would certainly have livened up the after-dinner dancing.

For those of you who will actually be attending the conference, may I suggest a way of keeping yourself occupied in those long speeches?

Let me proudly present Bullshit Bingo - where the content of conference speeches can be used to provide the inspiration for a jolly good time in the most unlikely of circumstances.

In the adjacent grid you will see 20 of the most commonly-used expressions on the further education circuit - the kind of words we normally do our best to keep out of FE Focus, admittedly with only limited success.

Each time you hear one of the words in the grid, simply draw a circle round it. As soon as you get one word in each column, during the same speech, you have completed the puzzle. Strictly speaking, according to the rules, the first person to complete the exercise should stand up and shout "Bullshit!", although you might find a smug grin more than sufficient.

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