We’ve all heard the stories about the person who was promoted out of harm’s way to a management position, an especially commonplace tale in FE colleges: many an incompetent teacher has ended up in a management job to which their chief skill of bluster is well suited. Many therefore will not be so surprised to see that Nona McDuffer, flimflamming leader at EDI, has become Student Achievement Director. A classic case of moving someone from an important job to — well, a non-job, probably at a higher salary to boot.
But our Nona is not just rising to the incompetent heights of top management at Kingston. She now has a gong, thus proving the disreputability of the British honours system, if it needed proving any further. (How long till the fled Rat gets a knighthood?) Why has she been called to the Palace? Have the powers that rule our land had their attention drawn to some outstanding achievement here? Well, in a manner of speaking (excluding the outstanding bit). People are nominated for these awards; Her Maj doesn’t go out scouting for deserving citizens. Clearly Kingston University, ever anxious to raise its profile — Guardian prizes which you have to pay to enter, a bit like a raffle — put up a few names for the Birthday Honours, and Nona’s came up. No doubt she had to keep in with the bosses for this to happen. Perhaps the OBN would have been a better fit than the OBE.
There might be a silver lining to the medal box here. Could it be that McDuffer’s far more able deputy, Cheryl Jordan, will take over as head at EDI? One sticking point. Ability is often an overqualification at Kingston.