Expectations were running high at a Guildhall banquet in London last week when vice-chancellors rubbed shoulders with bankers at the Institute of Financial Services' president's dinner. Education secretary Estelle Morris was to announce the launch of pilot training projects to improve financial literacy among the poor and to appeal to the financial services industry for their support. The press releases had gone out. Special guests had been assembled. Unfortunately, Ms Morris forgot about the announcement. She enthused about present company, her work as a teacher, the financial world's work in reskilling, the heavy education task ahead and the need to join hands. Then, to rapturous applause, she sat down, leaving red-faced officials from the Department for Education and Skills to explain that going "off message" is a ministerial hazard.