Jotter - Magic, or an illusion?

North Glasgow College's evening class advertising campaign teases readers of Glasgow, the magazine of the city council, with the unusual educational question: "Why not spend a magical evening with North Glasgow College?"

Now the building may be new, and may have been described by a couple of students as "pure magic, man", but all is revealed when the advert goes on to list a class in "Magic" as part of its leisure course provision. Creativity and innovation seem alive and well in the FE sector - or is it just an illusion?

What's in a name?

Staff at one Glasgow primary are having a competition to see who can spot the most bizarre name in the P1 intake this year. Said an old hand: "As a Catholic school, it used to be easy. All the girls were called Mary, Patricia and Bernadette, and the boys were Patrick, Vincent and Brendan. Now it's a mixture of Hollywood, dyslexia, soaps, the music industry, footballers and sheer bad taste that lies at the root of so many awful names on the register.

"We're nearly sure that at least half of the Krystals with a kicking "k" were actually Kirstys that someone couldn't spell. Bring back the saints - even Philomena doesn't seem so bad nowadays."

Another agreement

Websites spawn links to lots of things weird and wonderful, and The TESS one is no exception - all in the best possible spirit of being helpful to those navigating through it.

Thus a trawl through our archive to bring up material on the concordat (sorry, "historic" concordat) between the SNP Government and local authorities threw up "related resources". This sounded promising, but it was a reference to a very different concordat - a course unit on "Germany from Bismarck to Weimar".

Polls apart

It didn't take long for education to surface in Scottish Labour's leadership race, as the candidates outdo each other to curry favour. Iain Gray, the former lifelong learning minister, says he would boost student funding by Pounds 18 million, although this turned out to mean he would give them more loans to tie around their necks.

And Andy Kerr, the former health minister, promised free extra tuition for pupils in P7, S1 and S2 to help those who are struggling, although this turned out to mean only 25 per cent of those children.

That's another bill, for which Labour would have to fork out pound;20 million a year.

But what of the third leadership contender, Cathy Jamieson? Alas, not a word from the former education minister on education.

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