Let's junk baffling jargon, says new LSC boss

November 21, 2003

Words such as "provider", "underpinning", "stakeholder" and "learner" may be banished from Learning and Skills Council documents as part of a jargon-busting crusade launched by new chief executive Mark Haysom, writes Tony Tysome.

He told delegates at last week's Association of Colleges conference that he was "taken aback" by the baffling language of the world of education and of his own organisation.

The former director of Trinity Mirror's national newspaper division said he was "surprised by the assumption of knowledge, the jargon, the acronyms and the lack of clarity".

He added: "I expected to find a passionate and compelling language that reflects the excitement and challenge of the world that we work in. A language that talks directly to the people we are here to serve.

"Instead, I find that it is often anodyne, alienating and opaque. And you must believe me when I tell you that it is particularly alienating and confusing to people from the world of business."

Mr Haysom said he had trouble understanding some of the jargon-laden documentation circulated by the LSC.

"As I looked at some of the stuff we produce at the LSC, I found that the more I read, the less I understood," he said.

But when it came to impenetrable language, the Department for Education and Skills was the worst offender.

"We are bad, but the department is much, much worse," he said.

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