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Hitting the headlines

Poor old Charles Clarke, university top-up fees are causing him no end of grief and now he's getting earache from the press because of his expenses.

Apparently, the wine and nibbles bill for the DfES has gone up by 30 per cent during Clarke's time in office. Those in the know say that the increase is down to his preference for a nice drop of red wine, while the abstemious Estelle Morris favoured fizzy water.

Now here's a story that will warm the cockles of your heart. Madonna has dedicated her second children's book, Mr Peabody's Apples, to "teachers everywhere". The book tells a cautionary tale about Mr Peabody, a much-loved elementary school teacher, who finds himself ostracised by the community as rumours are spread about him. Actually, that might sound like a familiar story to many teachers.

Tony Blair went in to PR overload just before the New Year with his Big Conversation concept, in which we the humble general public were invited to contribute our views on the issues facing the nation. You'll be glad to hear teachers haven't been forgotten. Among the big issues to be discussed you'll find the following: How do we give every child an excellent education? Which educational areas should receive most support? How do we improve the status of teachers? We're sure you've got a thing or two to say to Mr Blair on these topics so why not vent your spleen at www.bigconversation.org.uk

Pamela Anderson has revealed that she's a secret Sunday school teacher.

"I'm teaching at my sons' Sunday school. It's reading the Bible, getting out the jelly beans and setting the kids a good exampleI Maybe I've surprised people. When you are blonde, people have low expectations of you," she said in an attempt to explain the unusual career move.

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