No reassurance from the Department for Education and Employment for those worried about the government's passion for spin doctoring. A press conference was held in London this week to announce an extra Pounds 83 million for further education.
Education secretary David Blunkett was present via a video link from the Association of Colleges conference in Harrogate, but without his advisor Conor Ryan. Asked a tricky question, he replied: "It is a good job I know the answer. I've normally got Conor by my side to nudge me and tell me 'don't answer that'." Still, Ryan's absence did not prevent Blunkett coping with being asked the same question simultaneously by two THES reporters - one in the flesh at Harrogate and the other at DFEE headquarters.