Education Diary: Are redundant Lehman bankers fit to teach?

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Overheard: a disgruntled teacher commenting on the decision of the Training and Development Agency to set up a stall at Canary Wharf to entice redundant Lehman bankers into teaching: "We don't want these spivs in the classroom or anywhere near our kids. How can they teach our children moral values?" Fair comment.

The Gifted and Talented – G&T for short – conference was held last Friday at Brunel University to spell out the government's vision on how they see the programme developing. One teacher spoke about recruiting for the scheme. They had held Saturday morning workshops for children to do problem-solving and the like. One participant, none too happy, had said that he didn't want to be there. Did he not want the benefits that a bit of G&T can bring? No. The only reason he was on the programme was because a teacher heard about a scam he was running, doing everyone's homework for a fiver a pop. Now the G&T people have taken him away, and he has lost all his business.

More G&T news. Speaking at the conference, the schools minister Andrew Adonis (above right) revealed that when he first entered the House of Lords, at the comparatively pubescent age of 42, he overheard mutterings from the old dogs. "My God! It's child labour," cried one peer.

USA College Day 2008 takes place on Saturday 27 September at the Royal National Hotel in London, from 10am. There will be a host of US universities running stands to offer advice on studying at an American institution. Joining them at the conference will be INTuition Scholarships, who offer a set of finance options for the increasing number of Brits wanting to take their degree in the US.

"There are scholarships available at US universities, but finding your way through the labyrinth of bureaucracy puts many people off," says Norman Renshaw, managing director of INTuition. "The low cost of living and better facilities at US universities is making it a serious option for many UK students."

To find out more about the scholarships (available at more than 100 US institutions), visit – or head down to experience all the razzmatazz of USA College Day for yourself.

Hot on the heels – or should that be wheels? – of Nantes University in France, Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan Universities are instigating a "Velocampus" scheme in the city. Two hundred bicycles, clearly identified as belonging to the universities and security stamped, will be on loan to students on a first-come-first-served basis. But unlike similar bike-loan schemes in Paris and Copenhagen, for example, which are run on a daily pick-up-and-drop basis, the bikes at Leeds will be loaned to students for the whole of the academic year. Lucky devils.

Do you fancy four weeks in Barcelona? Or how about Sofia (right)? Could you do three months? A bevy of funding sources – including West Midlands consulting companies Phoenix Business Solutions and Kristem Consulting, several European organisations, and a Leonardo da Vinci European grant – is giving graduates the chance to receive management training and participate in European work placements.

The lucky graduates will receive their management training in the UK, and then spend a four-week placement in January 2009, or a three-month placement in September 2009, in either the Catalan or the Bulgarian capital, depending on their choice. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Ketch Adeeko on 0845 300 7793; or email, before Friday 10 October.