Last word on the millennium;Sideways look;The week in education;Briefing

24th December 1999 at 00:00
SO farewell, then Charlie Brown. The perennial angst- ridden 10-year-old, is retiring after entertaining us along with pals Lucy and Linus and his dog, Snoopy, for the past 50 years. Charles Schulz, his creator, is calling it a day. Good grief.

In a plot that Schulz would have been proud of, four-year-old Rosie Osbourne won't be a star as she's been banned from the school nativity play for waving at her mother during rehearsals. The Newcastle-upon-Tyne school said she might disrupt the performance. Rosie's mother said: "I couldn't believe it. It's not as if it's the West End." She is demanding an apology.

Better news though for fellow Tynesider 15-year-old Harriet Baker, who has been chosen to say the final words of the millennium to millions of viewers on live television.

Harriet is studying piano and violin at Sacred Heart high school and is a member of the Newcastle youth parliament which advises the city council on how to spend money on projects for young people.

She will recite the Millennium Resolution intended for "those of all faiths and of none", according to the writer, the Reverend Peter Trow of Fareham United Reform Church in Hampshire.

At the Dome itself, David Wigram, the 13-year-old BBC Choirboy of the Year, will join Samudu Jayatilaka, 20, a vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, in singing composer John Taverner's musical version of the resolution. I suppose it saves us from making up our own.

In the next millennium will the likes of Chris Evans, rather than Chris Woodhead be setting the education agenda?

As pound;1 million was handed over on the DJ's radio show for knowing that George Eliot was really a woman, perhaps any remaining doubters might now be convinced of the value of a good education. Happy Christmas.

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