Flies on the wall

Moving south to the other Lanarkshire, there was an aura of euphoria hanging over last week's education committee meeting.

Councillors proclaimed they were "all excited" about progress in supplying schools with computer technology. "Delighted and most impressed" with the policy on recognising pupil achievement. "Glad to see we are still at the cutting edge" in appointing permanent peripatetic supply teachers.

"Very pleased" to see that the Government's deadline for pre-five places for four-year-olds had been met. And suitably impressed when informed by Maggi Allan, the director (of education, definitely), that schools were exploring the use of video-conferencing links with Motherwell College.

This bonhomie and cornucopia of good news could have had something to do with education convener Alan Dick's entreaties that the meeting should not go in for "amateur dramatics" (director M O'Neill?) and should be "a bit more formal than usual".

It is more likely, however, that the councillors were performing for the cameras, to wit BBC Scotland which recorded the proceedings for a forthcoming schools programme.

Appropriately, the programme is about the talk component of Higher Still English. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the cameras caught the contribution from one tribune of the people who began his remarks: "I am very pleased with what you says."

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