Oxbridge graduates have retained their hold on further and higher education in the Department for Education and Employment's newly restructured senior ranks.
Only three of the nine officials at board level and above, all men, are Oxbridge-educated. But they hold the key jobs. They include Roger Dawe, director general of further and higher education and youth training, and both the directors reporting to him - Tony Clark for HE and David Forrester for FE and youth training. The director of qualifications is Michael Richardson who devised the controversial nursery school voucher scheme.
As well as permanent secretary Michael Bichard, the former employment department contributes five of the eight board members - although Nick Stuart, director general for employment and lifelong learning, spent 28 years in the former DFE. Other ex-employment board members are Graham Reid (strategic and analytical services), Leigh Lewis (finance), David Normington (personnel and supply) and Mike Fogden (employment service). Apart from Roger Dawe the former DFE supplies John Hedger (operations) and Peter Owen (schools).
The conspicuous casualty of the amalgamation is Sir Tim Lank-ester, formerly permanent secretary at the DFE, who has been joint permanent secretary with Mr Bichard since the departments were merged. He will leave the civil service at Christmas as there is no vacancy at his grade. Sir Tim, 53, will get Pounds 49,000 compensation plus the standard civil service retirement lump sum and the pension due had he gone on to the normal retirement age of 60.
Mr Bichard, 48, joined the Employment Department this year after five years as head of the Social Security Agency.