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Jotter - A second coming?

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Former pupils of Bearsden Academy, about to relocate to a new campus in August, have been invited to dance the night away one last time at their old school before it closes at the end of the term.

Two FP ceilidh dances have been arranged for tonight and tomorrow, and organiser Annette McKay is hoping for a good turnout. But has she counted on the school's most famous former pupil, Brian MacKinnon, who masqueraded as 17-year-old Brandon Lee and who, as an actual 32-year-old, fooled the school into thinking he was a new pupil when he returned to repeat his Highers under his new identity in 1995?

Maybe that's why there are two separate nights, one for Brian and one for Brandon. The bouncers on the hall door had better be ultra-vigilant - with an eye to over-aged as well as under-aged gatecrashers.


Space prevented us last week from giving readers the full flavour of GTCS chief executive Tony Finn's extended motoring metaphor on The Journey to Excellence, when he spoke at his council's conference on professionalism in teaching.

No such restriction this week. "Clearly, teachers are at different points in this journey," he began. "Sadly, some believe they have already arrived and need travel no further (but can you ever arrive on this journey?).

"Others are just beginning on the road; a few have become lost on the way, perhaps following the wrong directions or have the wrong vehicles; some are between journeys, perhaps at a crossroads or even in a lay-by to excellence. What we may therefore need is a new map which sets out the routes which teachers can take to develop their careers - a professional satnav.

"Finally, if we are to reach the mystical land of excellence, we must expect there to be a few stops on the way for refuelling, for routine repairs and for recharging batteries."

At which point, he came to a dead end - or was it a fork in the road?

Sex change

As we reported last week, the same GTCS conference heard from Accrington's own home-grown guru, Andy Hargreaves, who plies his trade these days in Boston College ("neither in Boston, nor a college"). He told his audience how the element of surprise was important in teaching, illustrating it with a sex education lesson his wife had witnessed in the States. The teacher was in full flow, explaining the various parts of the male and female anatomies.

When it came to the turn of the vulva, a hand shot up to declare: "Miss, I think my dad drives one of these."

To which Hargreaves added: "Perhaps more than he thinks."

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