Sawbone surgery

5th May 2000 at 01:00
There's no doubt about it: the arrival of the Scottish Further Education Funding Council has made life more fun. Improbable as it might seem, new excitement has been injected into FE's notorious and inexplicable funding formula.

This is based on what is known as the student unit of measurement (SUM), when it is not known as the weighted student unit of measurement (WSUM). No explanation is presumably required, except to point out that t is the unit which is weighted, not the student.

We are grateful to David Wann, the funding council's deputy chief executive, for alerting us to the fact that he and his colleagues are now on the "cusp" in departing from one formula to another. This is not some technical successor to WSUM but, as will be plain to all, "a tooth-like meeting of two branches of a curve, with sudden change of direction".

Brace yourselves.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today