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On the ball;Jotter;Back Paige

It is not often that an education committee hears the advice of Glenbuck Cherrypickers and Liverpool footballing legend Bill Shankly ("it's more important than life or death") cited in a pedagogical context, especially by a woman primary head.

So East Renfrewshire councillors were impressed when Isobel MacGillivray, of Eaglesham primary, quoted the maestro's words of wisdom to a young player who had sought Shankly's advice about tactics in the penalty area. - "Stick the ba' in the net, son, and then think about the other options."

MacGillivray was speaking about a highly complimentary report from the quality development officers, and made the point that for her and her staff the equivalent of sticking the ba' in the pokey is emphasis on literacy and numeracy. Or, as her sound-bite put it, "poor ethos in a school may be down to one person, good ethos is down to everyone".

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