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Soap throws dirt at Woodhead

CHRIS WOODHEAD has been sacked for having an affair with a pupil. No, not that Chris Woodhead, but a teacher on Channel 4's Hollyoaks, who just happens to have the same name. This latest plot-twist in the soap followed news of an opera at Glyndebourne which features an affair between a teacher and a student. "I'm not going to make a comment," said a weary spokesman for the Office for Standards in Education. "There is no point. It just goes on and on."

Life also looks set to inspire art at Harrow, alma mater of Churchill, Byron and Peel, where Barnaby Lenon, the new head, is thinking of opening its doors to a docu-soap company. No such thing as bad publicity?

In this visual age, it is no surprise that film studies are on offer for the new AS-levels. Sixth-formers will soon be watching such classics as Brief Encounter, or The Ladykillers or studying the work of Marlon Brando or Marilyn Monroe. "Another pathetic exaple of dumbing down the gold standard of A-

levels," thundered the Campaign for Real Education.

Elsewhere, the Open University is stepping even further into unreality by awarding 25 master's degrees in a "virtual" ceremony on the Net for graduates around the world who have studied entirely online. Friends and family can log on to this landmark event at the end of March.

Even vicars are going high-tech. The Reverend Michael Maddison of St Michael's, Reepham, Norfolk, felt so sorry for bored youngsters who gathered in the porch of his church hall that he applied for planning permission to install a satellite dish on the side of the 15th-century building. Soon the kids will be watching Premiership football.

Finally, good news for chocoholics: boffins at the American Association Science conference claim that it's good for the heart. Cynics might want to note that the research was funded by Mars.

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