Schools paying top students to stay? “It is widely known within the school community of a leading Sydney North Shore private girls school that when four high-achieving year five students announced they would be leaving at the end of year six they were offered full scholarships for years seven through 12 just so the school could maintain their impressive NAPLAN results,” says one Crikey writer. The cost? A conservative $750,000, they reckon. “Spending $750,000 to rig NAPLAN results? So how come these private schools are crying poor?” Good question.

Not easy being green on the road. Being green has a price for car drivers, at least in the NSW market. From the oil and petrol industry, we’re told consumption of the supposedly environmentally friendly ethanol enhanced (up to 10%, or E-10) unleaded petrol is proving to be a big disappointment as motorists switch to the more powerful and expensive unleaded 95 petrol. The reason? Drivers get more kilometres per litre from the more expensive and powerful 95 unleaded than they do from the E-10 petrol.

In fact, the switch is now reaching embarrassing levels because (in Sydney at least) Caltex and Shell are finding it very difficult to keep up with demand for 95 unleaded. The result is that the cheaper E-10 (which is supported by the 4 cents per litre off shopper dockets of Coles and Woolies), is proving to be a bit of a flop and a harder sell. Stocks of unleaded 95 are increasingly short in the Sydney and NSW markets, according to an oil industry marketing source. Motorists are waking up to the fact that they can drive a lot further in unleaded 95 and that the only beneficiaries of the E-10 petrol are the ethanol producers, such as Manildra, says our tipster.

Hun hacks sweat over cost cutting. An Southbank insider tells us there were some nervous nellies at the office of the Herald & Weekly Times yesterday after new News Limited CEO Kim Williams made his first trip down south. Herald Sun editors are reportedly under serious scrutiny after overseeing disastrous weekday circulation slides below the magic half-a-million figure. The word is also circulating that “anyone over 40” at the paper is under threat as the division moves to implement its portion of a News 20% company-wide cost cutting policy. As Crikey revealed last week, the shoulder taps have already begun.

Twitter defo case over before it began. It’s over, Twitter watchers. #twitdef, that is. You’ll remember the saga: journalism academic Julie Posetti tweeted from a conference the thoughts of former Oz reporter Asa Wahlquist on her time at the paper and the influence of editor Chris Mitchell; Mitchell claimed he’d been misrepresented and threatened to sue Posetti in what would have been a landmark defamation case. But the 12 months Mitchell had to serve a writ passed yesterday, Posetti has announced with relief. On Twitter, of course.

Jetstar flight in a flap. This tip just landed: an A320 in Cairns a few weeks ago conducted a missed approach when the first officer (cadet) selected flaps up instead of landing flap. The result? A low-speed warning. Apparently Jetstar has swept the incident under the carpet and several captains have been demoted after incidents with low-time first officers.

Home loan documents lost in the mail. From this morning’s 3AW Rumour File: “A leading bank has allegedly lost 400 customers’ home loan documents for homes that were supposed to settle yesterday and today.” Anyone know which bank?