One in the eye for progress

23rd July 2004 at 01:00
Regarding "Satisfaction without guilt" by David Sherlock (FE Focus, July 16) it is indeed "one in the eye for HR departments everywhere" that he was apparently offered a job, with "an offer to choose any title and salary I thought fit", at the Royal College of Art. It is also one in the eye for the tens of thousands of people who apply and compete for jobs daily throughout the country.

It is one in the eye for institutions who try to recruit fairly. It is one in the eye for all those who are trying to fix equality and diversity issues firmly in the forefront of education and employment in this country and have been trying to do so for decades.

It is one in the eye for learners and employees who do not wish to be taught or managed by a self-perpetuating, often male, often middle-class, often white elite.

It is particularly one in the eye for the Adult and Learning Inspectorate, whose credibility in judging equal opportunities, supposedly one of the centrepieces of the common inspection framework, is completely undermined because of its chief inspector's clearly tenuous, indeed non-existent, grasp of that agenda.

All these "ones in the eye" are not a good thing for anyone. They are a tragedy. If David Sherlock really believes in the patronage and "jobs for the boys" that he seems to have described, have we made any progress at all in equal opportunities practice?

David Ewens 31 Westgate Close Canterbury, Kent

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