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Heads' tea party

We are delighted to be able to report that nothing is too much trouble for North Lanarkshire's director of education when it comes to the comfort of headteachers.

A recent meeting in the council's Coatbridge offices between Michael O'Neill and the executive of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland was accompanied by tea and coffee - no expense spared - delivered in the usual large flasks. But O'Neill realised right away that this would not please Charlie Smith, who is as well known for being a connoisseur of teas as he is for being head of Airdrie Academy.

O'Neill insisted on going to his own office and duly returned with a cup of Lapsang Souchong. He apologised because the Earl Grey was finished.

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