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First some good news. We have agreement from DCSF to the funding agreement for the RSA Academy so it’s full steam ahead for the new school to open in September, and be in the new building early in 2010. We have recruited some really good people to the Academy – many drawn from the existing staff at what is a fast improving school. One job we still have vacant is a Director of Business and Strategy so is anyone out there up for being part of this exciting initiative (you don’t need to be a trained teacher, details on the RSA website)?

This news is timely with the first meeting of our future schools network next week. To hear more about this visit Ian McGimpsey’s RSA Education blog. And while you are cruising our site can I recommend you go to the Carbon Limited site and hear about our fantastic public engagement even in Cardiff at the weekend.

Last Friday was the RSA Xmas Party. We always have it in January as Hospitality staff are working flat out on other people’s events in December. After a knife edge vote it was decided to go to a Medieval Banquet in St Katherine’s Dock. I dressed up as Richard the Lionheart and being the only man in costume felt like a complete plonker. The night was great because RSA colleagues are fun people to be with but I will draw a discreet veil over the quality of food and ‘entertainment’.

Thanks again to Ian Gilmour for taking the pro-social interventions idea on to the RSA networks platform. Ian has loads of ambitious ideas for where we take this next but we will need to keep adding examples and growing the conversation if we are to get to a take off point.

If you heard or saw me doing punditry over the weekend on the Peter Hain resignation and the Alan Johnson allegations, I hope I managed to tread the fine line between being impartial and – as I always do – trying to counter the general view that all politicians are corrupt and dishonest. I went out on a limb by saying on Radio 4 and 5 that I thought the AJ allegations were specious. But the way this shock horror exclusive story has faded quickly from view suggests that – on this occasion – I was right.


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