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Jotter - The Nat factor

It is good to see that SNP activists can let their hair down - as well as, Labour might say, letting the electorate down.

They laid on a musical session at their conference last week, in which four Nats lined up to sing a few ditties chosen for them by the delegates.

If Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop had agreed to take part, we would have been happy to make some suggestions. For example: "The First Cut is the Deepest" (Cat Stevens); "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor)); "Money (That's What I Want)" (various); "Working on a Building" (Cowboy Junkies); "Revolution in the Classroom" (Sex Pistols).

Enough already!

Beyond their Ken?

The betting is now on as to who will succeed Graham Donaldson as head of the inspectorate - at least it is on this page. With retirements (Frank Crawford, Chris McIlroy and Wray Bodies) and departures (Annette Bruton), the ranks of those in pole position have become somewhat depleted. The inside favourite appears to be Ken Muir, who has just taken charge of further education and keeps an eye on much else besides.

There are, of course, some former HMIE staffers who might fancy working for pound;110k - such as Fife's director Ken Greer. And the Year of Homecoming could have special significance for Bill Maxwell, who left these shores to polish his CV as head of the inspectorate in Wales.

On the other hand, since the post does not require someone who is a registered teacher, all bets could be off.


The headlines suggesting that members of Stow College staff have been guilty of excessive globetrotting to drum up overseas business have led staff at other colleges to describe them as the "Stowaways".

Surprise, surprise

It was a bit like asking Katie Price if she'd be amenable to more column inches. Moray Council wanted to rejig the secondary school day and presented three possibilities, one of which involved going home earlier on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

It was soundly rejected by parents and teachers, but the pupils thought differently. Options 1 and 2 (for days of uniform length) failed to fire the pupils' imagination like option 3: there was widespread "strong agreement" that long afternoons away from school had educational merit.

We will not be holding the front page.

Many a slip

Journalist Ruth Wishart made a speedy recovery at a recent conference after introducing multi-taskers Ed Sec Fiona Hyslop and skills supremo Willie Roe as "people whose briefs are so wide - er, whose portfolios are so varied".

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