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Nairnesque

Teachers all over the country, no doubt, will have been eagerly following our coverage of the employment tribunal hearing involving the unique management style of Chris Nairn, the head of St Roch's secondary in Glasgow.

Nairn has added to the sum of our knowledge by explaining to the tribunal the Glasgow terms he used to identify with his pupils and staff. The much-headlined use of the word "babe", complained about in the sexual harassment case brought against him by English teacher Mary Robinson, was simply another of those terms (TESS last week).

"I used that phrase to everyone all the time," he told the tribunal. "It met with hilarity." He said he had also used the expressions "manly bodies", "tiptop," and "spot on".

Another of his favourites was "come with me to the casbah", used in the style of his comedy heroes Russ Abbott and Fulton Mackay - and to be said in clipped Noel Coward tones, apparently. Nairn's view was that the pupils at his school lacked confidence when he arrived there and that self-demeaning humour boosted them. "The joke is that I am the Sean Connery of St Roch's," he added.

The Scottish Qualification for Headship will never seem the same again.

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