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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Football 1 v 0 Heads' conference
David Beckham versus David Hart
Head to head: David Beckham versus David Hart
Head teachers have been promised they can get out from a conference early to watch England's football match against Argentina on Friday.

And it seems that even the prospect of a rousing speech from their union leader is not enough to keep them away from the World Cup.

The National Association of Head Teachers is meeting this week for its annual conference in Torquay.

But head teachers, anxious that this could mean missing the football match, are being reassured that general secretary David Hart's speech will be finished before kick-off.

There will then be big screens available for the heads to watch England's footballers.

Academic goals

The World Cup encounter - and the heads' conference - are being held during the half-term holiday, so schools are not faced with the dilemma of whether to allow pupils to watch the big games.

Next week, when schools return they will face decisions similar to those facing employers on Friday as to whether they will make provision for watching the World Cup.

Employers have been bracing themselves for absenteeism and increases in the sickness rate for the England against Argentina match.

But heads swapping the conference hall for the television screen can say they are following the lead taken by the Prime Minister.

Mr Blair and guests including Chancellor Gordon Brown and the former US president, Bill Clinton, will begin a think-tank weekend by watching the England game.

See also:

06 Jun 02 | UK Education
06 Jun 02 | UK Education
05 Jun 02 | UK Education
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