by Pablo Gorondi, The Associated Press Posted Mar 18, 2013 10:19 am MDT Oil falls to near US$92 a barrel as bailout plan for Cyprus rattles markets The price of oil slid to near $92 a barrel Monday as investors grew worried about possible fallout from a plan to pay for a bailout for cash-strapped Cyprus by slapping a tax on deposits in the country’s banks.By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was down $1.08 to US$92.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had risen 42 cents on Friday.Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was down $1.56 to US$108.26 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.The deposit tax is part of a plan agreed to on Saturday by Cyprus and its international lenders and it prompted savers to rush to banks in Cyprus to withdraw as much of their cash as they could.Adding to the uncertainty, lawmakers in Cyprus postponed a vote on the €10-billion ($US13-billion) bailout package until Tuesday evening amid concerns the planned tax falls too heavily on smaller savers.While some analysts said it appeared unlikely that panic would spread to other countries and prompt capital flight from weaker EU economies, lower oil prices were the result of “increased risk aversion” in wake of the Cyprus events, said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.“In the short term the pressure is likely to continue as further financial investors are expected to withdraw from the market,” Commerzbank said.On Monday, the euro slid against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies. A stronger dollar tends to pushe down oil prices as it makes crude more expensive for traders using other currencies.In other energy futures trading on the Nymex, wholesale gasoline lost 4.65 cents to US$3.1038 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) and heating oil fell 3.29 cents to US$3.9977 a gallon, while natural gas added 6.4 cents to US$3.936 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Teachers have been told not to ask a classroom of children what they did at the weekend an attempt to “poverty proof” schools.Staff should not initiate group discussions about what activities pupils did during school holidays as this can lead to less well-off children feeling awkward and uncomfortable, according to the charity Children North East.Luke Bramhall, who leads the organisation’s Poverty Proofing the School Day project, said that teachers must be sensitive in their choice of conversation topics to ensure pupils do not feel excluded.“Students have told us at some schools, they have discussions after the holidays or after Christmas as a whole class. Students are asked to tell everyone what they got for Christmas,” he said.“Students lie about what they got for Christmas because they want to fit in or they didn’t get as much as others.”Mr Bramhall added: “On a Monday morning, sometimes if there is ‘a pass the teddy bear round [and talk] about where you went and what you did on the weekend’, students have reported that it is difficult, awkward and uncomfortable.”While these are “important discussions”, it is important that teacher create the right “narrative” so that children from deprived households to do feel left out, he said. Mr Bramhall advises headteachers on how to “poverty proof” their schools. After interviewing children at the school, he gives bespoke advice for headteachers which reflects the needs their pupils. Experts from Newcastle University found that the charity’s work in schools improves attendance, attainment and uptake of free school meals, trips and music tuition.One headteacher banned fancy pencil cases after advice from the charity. Pauline Johnstone, head of St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Blyth, Northumberland, has also introduced a standard backpack for pupils in a bid to make school life easier for disadvantaged children.“As a school we had thought we did OK, it was all very equal and children didn’t feel disadvantaged,” Mrs Johnstone said.”It was quite difficult to listen to some of the feedback.” Children reported it was “very obvious” that some of them did not have the same things everyone else had, she said.The school took the decision to ban designer pencil cases – some of which can cost well over £10 – as well as no longer demanding parents make donations for pupils’ dress down days and introducing a standard backpack.Mrs Johnstone said there was initial anxiety from parents about the pencil case ban, “but the majority could see why we were doing it”. One school has banned pencil cases One school has banned pencil cases Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more