29th July 2016 at 00:00
Icing on the wedding cake

It’s been quite a fortnight for Rob Halfon. First the passionate campaigner for apprenticeships was appointed to what he informs TES is his dream job in government – skills minister.

And fresh from the whirlwind of introducing himself to everyone in the newly expanded Department for Education, today Mr Halfon has an even more important job to do: he’s getting married.

FErret would like to offer his congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Halfon, and wish the happy couple all the best for the future. Here’s hoping the honeymoon with be filled with love and romance, rather than the levy and area reviews.

The plot thickens

Everybody loves a coup these days. The FE sector has even had a small-scale insurrection of its own – and one within the hallowed corridors of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), no less. Word has reached FErret’s burrow that this plot focuses on a certain Paul Mullins.

Mr Mullins took on the role of ETF chair in 2013. He boasts an impressive pedigree in industry, with 25 years’ experience as a mergers and acquisitions adviser. He was also well regarded at the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. But he has little in the way of an obvious FE background – and there have been rumblings of discontent at his apparent invisibility in the sector since he took on the role.

When Mr Mullins’ term in office recently came to an end, it was down to the board to decide whether to back him or sack him. In the end, he clung on – but with a less than convincing majority of six votes to five. Hardly an overwhelming mandate to press ahead with. Still, this doesn’t seem to have done Jeremy Corbyn any harm…

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