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Auf wiedersehen, Pat

BEING so close to Hampden Park gave the modern languages department at Holyrood Secondary a huge boost following the Champions League final. Spanish and German fans thronging along past the school from early morning provided all the European atmosphere anyone could have asked for.

It was just a pity an over-enthusiastic squad of parking attendants clearing the streets for the fans saw fit to remove several staff cars in the course of the afternoon before the game. Several pupils learnt new words in Spanish and German from their teachers as a result.

Decoupled

You have to hand it to the College Lecturers' Association. They're consistent - usually consistently anti their parent body, the Educational Institute of Scotland.

A statement of intent at the annual conference can usually be found in the choice of guest speaker. A couple of years ago it was the left-wing socialist Dennis Canavan, and last year the left-wing socialist Tommy Sheridan. This year it was the left-wing socialist Kevin Lindsay, Scottish secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef.

Jim Higney, the association's president, certainly gave Lindsay a typical CLA welcome, apologising for the delayed arrival of EIS president Sandy Fowler. "He did tell us he was going to be late," Higney announced, oblivious to the man from Aslef. "I think he's on a train somewhere."

P is for polis

Directors of education face many a late-night demand and one unfortunate heading home from yet another interminable consultation meeting was still focused on the night's affairs as he drove at more than generous velocity along a fine straight road home with not a car in sight.

That was until the local constabulary intervened.

Two of Her Majesty's finest - one experienced, one raw - invited him round the back to check the speed gun.

"Do you know what speed you were going?" the senior asked. "Do you not think 80 is a little fast for this road? I'm afraid I'll have to book you for that."

The director was duly nicked and confessed to the sergeant: "You've done well, tonight, lads. You've just booked the director of education for the council."

"Constable," said the sergeant, "make sure you've spelt his name and address correctly."

Blank canvas

The penchant - to be European for a moment - for demanding screeds of scribble in the most practical of subjects was recently illustrated in a Standard grade art course. The artistic pupil was somewhat perplexed by the set questions. As you do, the girl asked for assistance.

"Haute couture? Is that wan o' those French penters?" she demanded to know.

Flora power

Full marks for bravery to the primary 7 pupils from Flora Stevenson primary in Edinburgh who submitted their own ideas of how schools in the future should look at the national education debate conference in Edinburgh last week.

"The school day should be longer by 45 minutes or an hour so that children can opt to take part in sports, homework clubs and foreign language teaching," they told their audience which included many senior activists of the Educational Institute of Scotland

Before the traumatised dominies could gather their breath, the young lions continued: "The length of the day should be longer for the younger children."

In spite of sugaring the pill by commending a later start in the mornings and extra days off at Christmas "to get ready", Katie, Lydia, Andrew and Tom had more than a few EIS national negotiators counting their blessings.

Bum note

"Something came to me," parent Gill Bain from Coldstream told the national debate audience. "Piles."

Luckily she was not confiding about her medical condition but describing an acronym she made up for the aspects of a child's development which she regarded as essential - Physical, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional, Social.

Very imaginative, and certainly a lot easier than "haemorrhoids".

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