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Unexpected Termination Error at Year of Code: Chief dumps venture for other UK.gov riches

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The head of the government-backed Year of Code caper has quit, just four months into her new job.

Chief executive Lottie Dexter will become a special advisor to Matthew Hancock, a Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Business Department responsible for education and training. That's also a taxpayer-funded job, sharp-eyed readers will note.

Year of Code was the brainchild of former No.10 Downing Street SpAd Rohan Silva, who now works for venture capitalist Saul Klein. It was conceived to bring teachers up to speed in vitally competitive global skills such as simple HTML [are you sure? - Ed.].

Silva's boss is credited with creating the hype that all schoolchildren must receive some tuition in computer programming - and quite coincidentally, Klein's own investments, including Codecademy, benefit from this demand. Several other Klein investments litter the Year of Code board.

Lottie Dexter became a minor sensation after a car-crash interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight in which she admitted she didn't actually know how to code, but was jolly well looking forward to learning.

Dexter recently deleted her Twitter account.

A SpAd, or Special Political Advisor to a Minister, is a political role paid for by the taxpayer. "The most honourable dividing line within the world of SpAds is between those who realise they are grotesquely overpromoted, and those preening fools who think that standing next to the right politician on election day gave them a divine right to rule," wrote the excellent Giles Wilkes, who recently escaped the madhouse after working as Business Secretary Vince Cable's SpAd, detailed here.

It is left as an exercise for the reader to decide in which world Ms. Dexter belongs. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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