Sparkes flying

Listeners to Radio 4 last Sunday may have heard Penny Sparke, member of the SMT at Kingston, declare her support for the idea of personal privacy at work. People need this, she says, to be able to reflect and contemplate, which coincidentally happens to be what academics try to spend some time doing. Sparke says she is against the idea of open plan offices for herself.

This of course sits uncomfortably with Rat’s policy; he wants us all as one big unhappy family in each other’s pockets. Will those managers who want their own space to work be exempt from this policy? Is Sparke stepping out of line with Ratty’s rules here? Could she be another SMTer about to leave Kingston? Not that our favourite rodent doesn’t welcome new ideas ­– just so long as they don’t contradict his own.

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