BUSH WON’T MEET BROWN! – as banks scramble for B of E loans

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Prime minister Brown met Wall Street fund managers yesterday, officially for talks on how best to protect savings and pensions during the current global economic crisis.

It followed meetings in New York earlier in the week with other world leaders, where he made the case for the global regulation and supervision of the financial markets.

Downing Street said Brown ‘strongly welcomed’ President Bush’s plan to rescue the US economy, saying ‘building confidence’ is ‘very important for solving the problems we face’.

However, he was snubbed by both Bush and the rescue plan’s main author, US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who said they were too busy to meet the UK premier.

Later yesterday, Brown attended a UN summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at tackling world poverty and disease.

During meetings at the UN summit, Brown said that the economic downturn and soaring food prices make it essential that developed nations ‘need to do more, not less’ on tackling poverty.

Meanwhile in the UK, banks made a scramble for extra funding at this week’s regular cash auction by the Bank of England.

The auction was heavily oversubscribed with commercial banks asking for £89.2bn, far more than the £52.8bn that was available.

Strains in the money markets have rapidly worsened following the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Banks are turning to the Bank of England for loans because it is currently too expensive to borrow from other banks as they would usually do.

• The Department for Children, Schools and Families has named the first three ‘failing’ schools in England to get up to £1m extra as part of forced partnership deals to improve their pupils’ exam results.

The schools in Essex, North Yorkshire and Hull, are the first of Brown’s announced ‘National Challenge Trusts’ which target schools where fewer than 30% get five good GCSEs including English and maths.

Under the scheme, ‘failing’ schools are partnered with and run by successful educational institutions such as other schools or colleges.

There were 638 target schools when the controversial scheme began in June.

The first are: Chase High secondary modern in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, which will be partnered with King John school in Benfleet.

In North Yorkshire, Risedale school will be merged with high performing Northallerton College, with an interim board overseeing the federation process.

In Hull, David Lister school will establish a National Challenge Trust, the local council are said to be developing plans with a range of partners.

Lancashire County Council is exploring options for a National Challenge Trust for Burnley schools with partners drawn from strong local schools, the University of Central Lancashire, the district council and NHS Lancashire East.

Education Secretary Ed Balls has also announced that another 65 trust schools have been agreed, with partner organisations including the bank HSBC, The National Trust, St Helens Rugby Club, the University of Warwick, JP Morgan and Bournemouth Airport.

The announcement brings the number in the pipeline to over 370, with 104 in operation.