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Parents - even local councils - who want to see how the professionals do it when it comes to defending their school in the e-age should log on to www.savechannelkirk.org. They will see the usual haranguing of hapless councillors by campaigners for the 65-pupil Channelkirk nursery-primary in Berwickshire, but also extensive and impressive links to a whole host of relevant quarters.

One of these was a quote from Jack McConnell, the First Minister, who said on STV during the 2003 election campaign: "Where councils don't listen to local communities, I will intervene to ensure they do." Ouch.

As recently as September during parliamentary exchanges, the website tells us, McConnell was fulsome in his praise of small schools: "It might surprise you to know that I went to a rural school. I grew up on the isle of Arran and spent the whole of my primary years in composite classes in a small rural school . . . and benefited a lot from it." Wow.

Directors of education rarely remain unscathed from such encounters, and Glenn Rodger of Scottish Borders is no exception. The Channelkirk activists have helpfully provided a link from their website to Rodger's email - presumably so even more people can get in touch to tell him how awful they think he is. Phew.

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