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HMI toast for absent heads;Jotter;Back Paige

For two Educational Institute of Scotland activists to have their primary schools inspected at the same time is highly unusual. When the results are issued just two weeks after the Government's Standards and Quality report that slammed 5 per cent of heads as unsatisfactory, conspiracy theorists could have had a field day.

But wherever the deficient one in 20 are to be found, it is not at Lochside primary in Montrose, fiefdom of Peter Andrews, former EIS president and salaries convener, or at Craigbank primary, Sauchie, where John Patton, current vice-president and likely millennium president, holds the reins.

They receive plaudits for "very good" leadership (Andrews) and "strong leadership" (Patton), and are commended for their positive relationships with staff, parents and the wider community.

But under "main points for action", HMI says that Lochside should fully introduce national testing "in line with national advice".

And Craigbank is urged to "accelerate" expressive arts in the 5-14 curriculum.

Strong leadership is clearly compatible with the heidie's frequent absence from school on union business.

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