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A novel approach

Novelist Christopher Brookmyre was the surprise choice to deliver this year's General Teaching Council for Scotland annual lecture. Still, it won't have done him any harm with his teacher fan base, as he proceeded to devote his time to reading chunks from his latest cheery effort, A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil - semi-autobiographical, he said.

Brookmyre might have done a good deed for at least one heidie. After hearing that he came from a family of teachers and that his mum still did some supply work, James Thewliss, GTCS vice-convener whose day job is being in charge of Harris Academy in Dundee, was prompted to ask if he might be introduced to his mum - particularly if she taught physics.

Thewliss noted that teachers always scanned The Times Ed to find out if they were named by a celebrity as the teacher who had inspired them to greatness. A friend of his had once been identified by Michelle Mone, the millionaire bra manufacturer, as her teenage inspiration, musing whether that justified referral to the GTCS investigations committee.

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