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Heads you win

Given its status, Education Minister Cathy Jamieson was duly wheeled out to give the secondary heads' conference a flavour of Scottish Executive thinking. She was due to speak at 5pm but the word was that she was going to be delayed by more than an hour, raising concerns that she might not turn up.

"That's social workers for you, always late," quipped one cynic.

Jamieson eventually emerged from the Mondeo. "Unlike social workers, she turned up," replied another. That's a multidisciplinary, team-working approach for you.

Mike Ewart, education head in the Executive, was mightily relieved. He was on stand-by to read the speech he might have written.

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