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The honest voice of education

As Willis Pickard stands down from editing The TES Scotland, perhaps you will allow me to use your columns to record my personal appreciation for his contribution to Scottish education. Many will have shared my enjoyment in and trust of the paper under his editorship forits breadth of information and balanced but intelligent approach.

Slightly fewer will, like me, have exploited Willis's unrivalled per-sonal knowledge of Scottish education to fill in their own information gaps. He has always been generous in answering questions.

I have a very personal reason to be grateful to Willis. When I first became involved in education campaigning through an ad hoc loca school group, he wrote an editorial praising our efforts but questioning our dura-bility. The challenge was irresistible. I am still here.

Then, when the Tory revolution of 1987 broke on the scene, Willis was instrumental in bringing together two parent campaigners, myself in the south and Diana Daly in the north. Indeed, he ran profiles of us both on the same page. As Diana and I campaigned against the national testing proposals ours was to prove a remarkably effective partnership.

Finally he taught me that if you have a message, it is important to make sure that it is obvious - wise advice indeed.

Judith Gillespie Findhorn Place, Edinburgh

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