Witches battle wicked image

7th April 2000 at 01:00
THE Pagan Federation has appointed an Essex media studies teacher to educate teenagers about witchcraft.

Ralph Morse from Colchester, a member of the Silver Wheel coven, is producing an information pack on paganism to counter misleading information on the Net that, he fears, may lure youngsters into devil worship.

Temptation of another sort is being suppressed at boarding schools after social services inspectors expressed concern about the "sexualised" images of women on boys' walls at a Worcestershire school. Some schools favour the "matron test": boys are asked if they are prepared for their mum or matron to see the posters. Another head said he preferred a "grandma test" along the same lines.

Twelve grannies have come to the aid of a formerly failing school in County Durham giving children extra help with reading, writing and arithmetic. Inspectors have praised Crook primary for its inspired approach.

nspiration also struck at St Peter's primary in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, which is inviting local people to try its school dinners. Catering manager Jeanette Orrey is offering a main course and pudding for pound;1.50 with profits going to the school fund. Lumpy custards will not be served, she promised. "We hope parents will become regulars."

Testing times for parents from a Southend primary in Essex, who donated cardboard boxes for trials of the first disposable classrooms. The rooms, funded by an pound;80,000 government grant, were devised by a team that helped to design the Dome. That should reassure them.

Finally, Parc Lewis primary in Pontypridd had a shocking week: an army bomb-disposal team was called in when an eight-year-old took his grandad's World War 2 mortar shell to school, to show his classmates. It thankfully turned out to be harmless. Let's hope we can say the same for the Pagan Federation.

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