This week’s news in brief

Not good enough

The top civil servant in the Department for Education and Skills has said too many of his own staff lack basic maths and English skills. Permanent secretary David Normington said he could understand complaints from business about school leavers. Standards had improved but were “not good enough yet”, he told the House of Commons education select committee.

Lecturer discrimination

Black and ethnic minority lecturers face discrimination when it comes to performance-related pay, the Association of University Teachers has warned. White lecturers are 60% more likely to be awarded discretionary pay than their black and ethnic minority colleagues, it said.

Just off for ‘a bit…’

Three of out four staff claim they have ‘pulled a sickie’ because of over-exuberant sex the night before, according to a survey by law firm Peninsula. The poll of 1,269 employees found 73% had taken a day off to recover from an ‘all night romp’. Almost half (48%) of employees said they had had a sexual encounter in the workplace and 56% of them said they felt no guilt about it.

Lucky lunch winners

Personnel Today readers Alastair McDougall and Phil Surlis were the lucky winners of our competition to win lunch with Mikhail Gorbachev at the Leaders in London 2005 conference, which runs today and tomorrow at the Barbican in London. As well as the former Soviet leader, delegates will hear from former US president Bill Clinton, former IBM chief executive Lou Gerstner and business guru Tom Peters.

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