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Jotter - Upstaged? Oh no he wasn't

Christmas is past but, for MSPs at least, the pantomime season is not. As they traded figures and insults on class sizes the other week, Education Secretary Mike Russell said: "We are not playing a blame game. We will not get anywhere with that kind of pantomime performance."

To which his parliamentary audience inevitably chorused: "Oh yes we will!"

Orcadian delights

David Drever, the new convener of GTC Scotland, can expect many visitors to his Orkney patch. No less a figure than the council's chief executive Tony Finn popped in earlier this month to talk to teachers and education authority officials. He also planned to "savour the local Orkney produce, which I hear is very good".

Funny how we never heard of such visits to Drever's predecessors, May Ferries and Norma Anne Watson. So what's wrong with Glasgow and Broxburn?

Braw laddie

As research reveals that two-thirds of us think it is important that the Scots language continues to be used, we can only applaud the SNP's Western Isles man at Holyrood, Alasdair Allan.

"Whit," he asked Education Secretary Mike Russell, "wull the Scottish Guivernment dae tae mak shuir awbodie at the high scuil gets Scottish leiteratur?"

It's not quite the same in English: "What steps will the Scottish Government take to ensure that every secondary pupil has access to Scottish literature?" The ministerial reply would also have benefited from the Allan treatment: "The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the place of Scottish literature is emphasised in our schools."

Not Philled In

Glasgow's Evening Times ran a grand wee piece on all-girls Notre Dame High, which achieved a record, for Glasgow, of one "excellent" rating and four "very good" ones in its recent HMIE report. A picture showed five brown-blazered girls each holding a star, but its caption claimed heidie Phil McFadden was among the depicted figures.

She may be as diminutive as she is outstanding and, according to one colleague, she did dress up as a pupil at a charity event many years ago, but there the resemblance to the 13-year-olds in the shot ends.

Influence lives on

Edinburgh City Council obviously does not update its website all that frequently. Elizabeth Maginnis, the former education convener in Lothian Region and Edinburgh, continues to be listed as one of the city's councillors - even although she died in September 2008. She would probably have liked that.

A scream

"How can a stranger tell if two people are married?" the teacher wanted to know. "If they're yelling at the same kids," the eight-year-old responded.

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