Rumours abound that the most recent delay to hit the long-awaited white paper (now green) on lifelong learning was the result of human error. The education world was geared up for publication on January (of a paper originally supposed to be published last autumn) only to learn that it had been postponed until February 25. Apparently the main reason for rescheduling was that the Department for Education and Employment forgot to book a slot with the parliamentary tabling office.
The DFEE puts a slightly different spin on events. "It was a purely parliamentary thing of not being able to fit things into the timetable because of the pressure of business," a spokesperson said. But even this may not be the full story of the DFEE's failings. There are said to have been between eight and ten rewrites, which cannot have speeded things up.