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Company splashes out to thank Estelle

ESTELLE Morris may have stepped down as Education Secretary but, as a new advertisement shows today, her legend lives on.

The TES today features a half-page advert (page 33) thanking the former minister for her tireless work, and inviting teachers to send in messages of support.

It says: "Estelle - the profession thanks you for your vision, enthusiasm, commitment, honesty and for being a dedicated honourable professional who cares about education and children. We salute you!"

The person who placed the advert, Stewart Scott, said it was on behalf of a Stockport-based consulting group Arch, which provides support for school managers. He insisted the advert was not a ruse to collect a list of potential customers' email addresses.

"Lots and lots of people admire her devotion, and want to acknowledge her work," he said.

Mr Scott added that he expected the messages would all be passed on to the former minister once a long list had been collected. No one at Arch was available for comment as The TES went to press.

Teachers say the advert could get a good response. Head John McNally, whose school, St Bernadette's Catholic primary, is in Ms Morris's Birmingham Yardley constituency, said he expected many teachers to send emails of support, even though many had already written messages straight after her resignation.

Ms Morris said she was looking forward to seeing the advert, and was still working her way through thousands of letters of support from teachers: "I'm bowled over by the idea of an advert... It sounds beautiful. I can't express what all the messages have meant to me."

Teachers were quick to express their sadness at her departure, many on The TES's website.

But not all were sympathetic. One wrote, as an epitaph: "She was out of time And out of touch The patron saint Of nothing much" Email messages of support and thanks to estelle.support@talk21.com

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