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Burnit fingers

Joan Burnie is likely to have emerged in the past week as the latest hate figure for Scottish teachers. The Record's Agony Aunt was pressed into service by the BBC's Words with Wark talk show to act as the profession's goader-in-chief.

The subject: bad teachers. Yes, there was such a thing, Auntie Joan insisted with such passion that Raymond Robertson, seated alongside her, could present himself as the very model of moderation.

"On with appraisal" was the Education Minister's most provocative contribution.

Auntie Joan said her postbag had more than 100 letters a day. Letters from those aged over 50 were invariably well written; correspondents aged 30-50 were presentable; but writers from the comprehensive era (younger than 30) were often unreadable.

This astonished Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland. It was not so much these sentiments that amazed him but the fact that all Burnie's correspondents state their age. Nice one, Ronnie.

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