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Tim Collins: the Conservatives' education spokesman received a heavily back-handed compliment from Chris Keates in her vote of thanks to him. She told the former party press officer and adviser to Michael Howard: "I would like to thank you for your part in the putting the Conservative party where it is today."

Teachers' life expectancy: delegates were warned they might not live to retirement because of the Government's decision to extend their pension age to 65. Huw Reynolds, a delegate from the Vale of Glamorgan, said: "There are many anecdotal stories of teachers dying only days after retirement - I've heard of poor sods who have dropped dead at their retirement parties."

The six-term-year: the union voted to continue its fight against local authorities which alter their term dates. An NASUWT ballot bus was due to drive through Essex this week to drum up support for action against its plans to switch to a six-term year.

Roger Darke's feet: the south-west regional officer spent the week confined to the conference centre, but a pedometer he carried showed that he had walked more than 20 miles.

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