£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

Beware teachers called Callum or Chelsea

If HEFCE’s challenging financial settlement for HE next year is anything to go by, we will have to get very good indeed at picking students who are the best, most persistent, the least likely to drop out.

And of course there is a way of doing it easily – just look at their first name.

A survey of 3000 teachers came up with the student names to look out for

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February 2, 2010 Posted by | further education, list, teachers | , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m now sorted for 2010

Still idling around in my holiday bubble, I thought I had better get ready for the coming year with some improving resolutions.

If I could start with a suitable ready-made list, I could then knock some items off straight away – so here goes with ten Healthy Attitudes to Living [courtesy Willson & Branch Cognitive Behavioural Therapy]

1 Accept that you can – and will – make mistakes Yup – already part of the way I work, so I can claim a first resolution achieved
2 Try something new I call in evidence this blog m’lud, started yesterday  so second resolution already achieved
3 Stamp on shame This blog could expose me to very shaming scrutiny and comment by 10 billion people but I am going ahead, stamping on shame. #3 down
4 Laugh at yourself I just don’t take myself too seriously,  #4 down
5 Don’t take offence Not something I am at all prone to do, and though I probably need to stoke my fires of indignation more often, I am not about to adopt a resolution of getting offended once a week, #5 achieved.
6 Make good use of criticism This is the one! – a useful and deep-reaching basis for a resolution.
7 Settle into [business] social situations There is something here, about relaxing, dropping the safety props, going with the flow, and using my intuition rather than routines. But it doesn’t feel like a real resolution for me this year.
8 Encourage your creativity I don’t worry if my whizzbang ideas are shot down in flames – plenty more daft ideas on the way! – so another resolution achieved
9 Act adventurously Going freelance achieved this for me – no need whatsoever for a resolution here
10 Enjoy yourself, its late than you think I hadn’t been good at giving time to doing fun things in the past – but I am much better at this now – not one I need on my list.

Score on the 2010 resolution door?

9 out of 10 resolutions achieved, leaving a single important resolution to work on. Good work already!

All I have to do now to “Make good use of criticism in 2010” is

Get the wording right.
Think in small steps, and four week chunks
Work on visualising it happening [staying this side of Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Bright-Sided Positive Thinking” of course]

Right, once that is done,  that’s me and 2010 sorted, and time to get started on the world in general.

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Sea Eagles … or Further Education

In the run up to Christmas, I decided to start a blog which would range over what is important to me about the further education system in England.

Why? is the most useless question that can be asked in just about any situation, so there is no need to even attempt to tackle the question. The nearest I will get to an answer is that “I will find out as I go along.”. I certainly have the feeling that I have wasted time in not starting one earlier, which is as good a reason as any.

Where to begin isn’t quite so problematical, since further education is a wide open system for comment –  but today has been a Bank Holiday, a bright sunny day with a light crisp covering of snow, and we went for a stroll along the sea front at Southwold.

On the road to Southwold, on the A12 at Henham, where the Latitude Festival is held in July, large signs have just appeared urging travellers to “Say NO to Sea Eagles Here”

Another thing to say NO to, adding to a long list of local nay-sayings: “No” to the Wind Turbines just up the road on Bernard Matthews’ site at Halesworth [and at Beccles]; “No” to the Tesco at Halesworth; “No” to the gravel pit at Haddiscoe …

Maybe these Sea Eagles would be a nightmare – snacking on avocets; disturbing the furtive amorous fumblings of bitterns, and playing havoc with questing voles as they pass feather-footed through the plashy fen – or maybe they would be a boon to the tourist industry as they will no doubt take to perching in the garden of the Bell at Walberswick, to take advantage of carelessly discarded scampi tails.

I really have got no strong views either way on the Sea Eagle [here or elsewhere] but I am delighted to have such a cheery, life-enhancing dilemma bubbling away around me at the start of a New Year.

In the real world I predict, and fear, that the dread verdict “Say No to FE here” will emerge from meeting after meeting in 2010 as we struggle to adapt to a lean funding regime.
Remember when there was a capital programme for college buildings?

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment