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To show he cares

IT'S a tough life being a member of Her Majesty's Government. All those red boxes filling every waking moment. Spare a thought, then, for learning and technology minister Michael Wills who received an impertinent letter from Tracey Oakley, a teacher at Alban Wood primary in Watford, protesting at the snail-like pace of the Internet connection she had to use for researching lessons.

Mr Wills' advice? Start earlier! In an e-mail response to Mrs akley's cri-de-coeur, the minister said: "The time spent accessing the Internet should be seen as part of your normal lesson-planning activity and should not add significantly to your working day". Downloading on the Internet at 7am would be "a more efficient use of your time" because fewer people used it at that hour. Mrs Oakley wonders aloud: "I trust the pay review body will take such extensions of the working day into consideration."

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