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Once is enough;Jotter;Opinion

The young(ish) Turk of academe is undoubtedly Walter Humes, who also addressed the recent ADES seminar. Vice-president Keir Bloomer made it clear he was head of the educational studies department at Glasgow University not, as the programme described him, head of its education faculty.

That post is, of course, held by the ubiquitous Bart McGettrick. Bloomer observed of the acerbic Humes: "He does not wish to offend Bart McGettrick on that particular point, although he is perfectly happy to offend him on other counts."

Bloomer has cause to remember Humes who featured him in less than flattering terms in his book, The Leadership Class in Scottish Education (so Bloomer was in notable company). "His article reflects the ambiguities, indeed inconsistencies, in the self-perception of teachers' organisations," Humes said of Bloomer, then a senior figure in the Educational Institute of Scotland.

This was, of course, a terrible thing to say about the formidably fluent Bloomer of whom it was once remarked in awe: "He's the only person I've ever heard who actually talks in sentences."

But neither Bloomer nor Humes seemed to harbour any damaging long-term memories. As Humes remarked before he addressed the directorate: "I usually have one speech on such occasions on the assumption that I am unlikely to be invited back."

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