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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: snoring conference delegate

Conferences can undoubtedly be dull. They can also be tiring and, well, a little boozy. A combination of all three can make staying alert for session after session in a darkened room extremely tough.

Keeping yourself from dropping into the land of Nod is a trick that many have to learn. Real-life equivalents of propping your eyelids open with matchsticks can include shoving the pointy end of a ballpoint into your thumbs. At last Easter's NUT conference, one young couple even resorted to canoodling.

It doesn't matter how, but awake you must remain. And if you can't, a light doze is the most you can afford. Definitely don't fall into such a deep sleep that you snore, so loudly that every single delegate can hear you.

This is what happened at the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference in Belfast last week, where not one of the 250 or so independent school heads gathered can have missed the gargantuan snort from the back of the room that triggered widespread tittering. Of course, the distinguished panel - terribly well brought up as they all are - didn't miss a beat and carried on as if nothing had happened. And the audience soon regained their dignified silence, too.

But TES feels that this kind of behaviour is not becoming of some of this country's Great Public Schools, so it is to the naughty step with you, anonymous snorer. Stay there until you've had 40 winks.

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