Kept behind for talking

SELDOM has Norma Watson, the General Teaching Council's convener, been so enraged. In full public view at last week's meeting, she fumed against the sneak who broke its collective code by castigating teachers in the Scotsman and on the BBC's Newsnight.

"To do it once was bad enough, to do it twice is an affront, to do it a third time is a hanging offence," Watson said about the constantly unnamed transgressor, conspicuous by his absence.

"If he was here, I would tell him to his face," she thundered to wide approbation, before adding: "If those appointees (the minister's men) cannot behave in a reasonable manner, they should no longer be with us."

We can exclusively reveal this unruly soul to be Mark Irvine, formerly of Unison and now freelance abuser of teachers. He will be summoned before heidie Watson for a third time.

May Ferries, former president of the Educational Institute of Scotland and chief disciplinarian, wondered: "Is his an authorised absence? It's a definite case of someone who should be removed to a behaviour support unit."

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