On behalf of the Learning & Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), NIACE (with others) have developed Sustaining Our Future which is a "draft framework for moving towards a sustainable learning and skills sector", and there's an online consultation on all this. I spend more time than I intended filling this in yesterday and was nearly driven to drink it was so dispiriting. As I am loath to spend even more time thinking about this, I'll only give one example of the problem. This, is the draft vision:
"A learning and skills sector which maximises and mainstreams environmental, economic and social sustainability"
I was underwhelmed and commented that McDonald's would probably do as well / badly as this. Actually, they do. McDonald's says:
"Our vision for a sustainable supply chain links responsibility for ethical, environmental and economic outcomes"
It is as though drafting team know which words to use, but cannot communicate what they mean by them. In Alan Hansen's oft-repeated words: grit and determination, there may be, but there's little sign of flair and imagination. When the essence is to communicate to people who do not habitually think about such matters, this is crucial.
I wish I could recommend it to you, but when you're only as good as McDonalds, ...
This, rather un-Gove, phrase stood out me as I read his speech at the Education World Forum last week in London. Mr Gove did not attribute it, but as it seems firmly associated with one of George Bush Jnr's speechwriters (Michael Gerson), that is understandable. An informative speech, all in all, about the government's position and policy, the English Baccalaureat, and its determination to address and undo the bigotry (as I see it of parents / teachers / governors / unions – and probably caretakers and cleaners as well). But it was all very dull. A pity, then, about all the cuts, as, otherwise, Gerson might be on the team full time.
Just when you thought it was safe not to think about league tables of universities for a while, up pops another green ranking – this time an international one. Whilst the UK has 6 out of the top 25 places, these institutions are not the obvious ones, or those that feature strongly in the UK's People & Planet tables – other than Bangor which is 17th (=) in the UK, and 11th in the world. Meanwhile, Nottingham comes 2nd in the world but is only 53rd (=) in the UK, which is rather like Charlton Athletic's being ranked second to Barcelona in a FIFA league table, which is something that's only remotely possible if the quality of the gravy in the meat pies is highly weighted. Something methodologically dubious in all this, of course, but if I'd any responsibility at Plymouth, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Central Lancashire, Aston, Nottingham Trent, Bradford, ... I'd be looking to my laurels (or lawyers).