While heading in to town with my unschooled daughter we had a chuckle at a poster that had appeared by the bus stop…

The Truancy The Facts website mentioned on the poster links back to the Manchester City Council site. Alas their school education appears not to cover [wikipop]proofreading[/wikipop] and so they happily start a sentence with And and insert, random commas which, make no sense at all and a trip to the website reveals some bizarre paragraphing:

And so you will probably be better off not bothering with school at all if this is what they have to offer. Ho Hum.

Even allowing for the expected degree of incompetence and stupidity that masquerades as an education system…

Welcome to the functionality that has been provided by Student Finance England!

Functionality Drivel
Functionality Drivel

As if having one of the most convoluted log in procedures ever devised involving multiple emails, a customer reference number (I am not a customer), a password and a secret answer (which was SXMLAR38 so what was the secret question?) is not disturbing enough one is then dropped into the most ridiculous illogical exercise which actually amounted to nothing more than answering half a dozen questions.

Are we done already?

Who knows?

Tick what?

HInt: The question is “Do you have other sources of income?” The answer will be either “Yes” or “No”.
Note: Even if the answer is “No” you are not allowed to ignore boxes that do not apply you have to type £0.00.

And so it went on, too tedious to dwell upon, but apparently my experience was somewhat different to Martine‘s but not in a good way.

Perhaps they should shake out a few more slackers further down the ladder. They do provide a guide to error messages which includes:

This message is caused by a system error, and Student Finance England is working to fix it. Please ignore the message


No keyboard connected. Press any key to continue.

The Guardian’s [W:Ben Goldacre] piece today threw up some interesting links. The VoteMatch site is like an online dating service for you to be matched to your ideal local candidate. One particularly taxing question was the old tax breaks for educating children outside the school system….

I remain open minded about such things. While the BNP were in favour the Lib Dems (my ideal match apparently) were not…

It looks like a close call between Lib Dems and Greens but the local Green chappie, a teacher, has ruled himself out with a leaflet that promises to protect the education system; which is about as un-green a system as one could possibly devise.