Comedy of errors

8th February 2008 at 00:00
Promoting educational initiatives can be a tricky art. If you are too flat about your project and use too much jargon, you are in danger of making teachers fall asleep. But there is a risk of bad taste if you go too far in "sexing up" your scheme.

Heed the experience of Starchaser Industries, a group of space-related technology companies in Manchester. They have been taking an 11-metre rocket to schools on a lorry to promote science and engineering. Exciting stuff. So it probably was not necessary to title their announcement "British rocket hits 100 schools" - a somewhat unfortunate headline, especially when schools in parts of the Middle East have been hit by rockets.

Equally mischievous, but funnier, was an announcement by Hull City Council.

It has been running a successful scheme to get primary school children to wear seatbelts by showing them a video of a teddy bear's misadventures on a car journey. The headline for this announcement? "6000th child belted in Hull".

Teachers may be disappointed to learn that the city, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, is not reintroducing corporal punishment.

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