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Education goes to Holyrood

EDUCATION authorities will be bereft of serious talent if Labour's candidates for the Holyrood parliament are successful in next May's elections.

Six education conveners are among the 166 chosen to fight the 129 seats in the Scottish parliament. They are John Kemp, Dundee; Danny McCafferty, West Dunbartonshire; Ross Martin, West Lothian; Elaine Murray, South Ayrshire; Margaret Paterson, Clackmannan; and Yvonne Robertson, Inverclyde.

Two education vice-conveners have also been selected, Irene Oldfather of North Ayrshire and Jean McKeown of South Lanarkshire.

The most prominent education chair who failed to make Labour's list is Elizabeth Maginnis of Edinburgh, education leader on the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. Union leaders will be relieved they will not have to face her robust style in Edinburgh.

Some of her union adversaries have, however, survived to fight another day. Ian McCalman, who has just stepped down after his year as president of the Educational Institute of Scotland, is the best known. He is senior teacher in learning support at Smithycroft Secondary in Glasgow.

The EIS is also represented by Gillian Kulwicki, head of Belhaven Nursery in Glasgow and former chair of the union's Glasgow local association; and by Mary Smith, a South Lanarkshire councillor who teaches in Burnhead Primary, Uddingston, North Lanarkshire.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers has a presence on Labour's list: Carol Fox, its Scottish regional official.

Other Labour teachers represented are Jim Lee, Ashcraig Secondary in Glasgow; Marilyn Glen, who teaches in Dundee; and Willie Campbell, a depute rector at Culloden Academy in Inverness.

Holyrood candidates involved in education but who are better known for their political involvement are David Begg, chairman of Edinburgh's transportation committee and professor at The Robert Gordon University; Rhona Brankin, former chair of the Labour Party in Scotland who works in Northern College; Johann Lamont of the Labour women's committee and principal education support teacher in Castlemilk High in Glasgow; Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and an English teacher at St Brendan's High in Linwood; Jean McFadden, Glasgow's former council leader and former classics teacher; Des McNulty, secretary of Glasgow Council's Labour group and a lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University; and Lord Sewel, the Scottish Office Minister who was vice-principal at Aberdeen University.

The National Union of Students has two former luminaries - Pauline McNeill, an official with the GMB union, and Lesley Sutherland, research officer with the TGWU who has just been appointed to the advisory committee of the Scottish University for Industry and worked on the staff of NUS Scotland.

Two potential MSPs have further education experience - Marilyn Livingstone, head of the business school at Fife College, and Callum Iain MacMillan, senior manager at Lews Castle College in Stornoway and Labour group leader on the Western Isles Council.

Headteachers can claim one friend in Labour's parliamentary list, Colin O'Brien, the head of Clydebank High.

Finally, one name will be familiar to those with long memories of west of Scotland educational politics. Shiona Waldron, now a solicitor for the Crown Office, chaired the board at Jordanhill School in Glasgow during a particularly turbulent time in its history when its headteacher was sacked.

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