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Class acts

Mike Russell, the SNP's English-born education spokesman (as his opposite Tory number Brian Monteith is fond of pointing out), is a man who wears his learning lightly.

Russell revealed to fascinated MSPs during last week's class size debate (page six) that the motto of his old school, Marr College, was "hic patet ingeniis campus". The chorus of MSPs could barely be held back from eplying in unison: "You mean 'here lies a field open to the talents'."

The debate was also notable for particularly apposite comments from Liberal Democrats Ian Jenkins and Nicol Stephen, Deputy Education Minister. They took time to pay tribute to Willis Pickard, now retired as editor of The TES Scotland. Definitely the finest tribunes of the people on parade that day.

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