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GTC high life

The General Teaching Council could start finding life on the road a bit troublesome. The latest outing, to meet the teachers of Inverness last week, clearly gave some members a taste for travel.

Indeed the discussion about where the 1998 roadshow should be held (next year will be Motherwell) began to resemble similar vigorous debates at the Educational Institute of Scotland's annual conference.

That is probably no coincidence since the issue was raised, along with the GTC's costs if the idea bears fruit, by Mary McCormack, Western Isles English teacher and EIS stalwart. Inevitably, she wants the council to meet in Stornoway.

No members dared suggest this was an outrageous use of teachers' registration fees. The council politely agreed to investigate the possibility of meeting in one of the three island areas.

There is a precedent in the meeting which the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum held in Stornoway earlier this year. This was a special case, however: Neil Galbraith, the Western Isles's director of education, is the council's chairman.

Air fares to the islands, as we all know, are outrageously high. But that should be no problem for the GTC: its surplus for the year to March 1996 was Pounds 182,931 and its premises are valued at some Pounds 300,000 (although it is desperately seeking to vacate them).

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