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Conference jotter

Unappetising image

A clear winner of the Most Off-putting Use of Imagery award at the SSTA conference was West Dunbartonshire's Alex McEwan, who underlined colleagues' commitment to work in the face of illness. In his words: "Teachers will drag themselves on a trail of blood and snotters." And this just after lunch.

Oh unhappy day

TESS, trying to prove itself very much au fait with all things techie, started a hashtag (that's a Twitter thingummy). Sadly, #SSTA had already been taken. Rather than the musings of scunnered Scottish teachers, it'll lead you to the coruscating insights of Haitian gospel singer Jean Wallner: "I am empty as far as ideas."

An unlikely likeness

Another award: Most Unfortunate Parallel Drawn to a Dictator. To paraphrase, "Mike Russell is deluded!" began one delegate. (Fair enough, some might say.) "Sycophantic advisers persuaded him Curriculum for Excellence was on track." (We'll bow to your superior knowledge.) "It's not the first time that's happened to a politician." (OK, where are we going here?) "It's just like when Hitler was holed up in his bunker and thought the war was won!" (Was this really the only delusional politician history could throw up?)

Vision of leadership

Continuing on the subject of leadership, delegates at the NASUWT's annual Scottish conference were relieved to hear general secretary Chris Keates was on the mend, following a recent eye operation. "She has been advised to limit her travel - certainly not to fly - but I am assured she can still walk on water," announced the union's national president Paula Row, to sighs of relief from the audience.

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