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Shephard to address NAS

Britain's second largest teaching union holds its conference next week in Scotland for the first time in 30 years. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, which has 146,000 members, will send more than 800 delegates to its meeting in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

Jim O'Neill, regional official for Scotland, said that the decision to move north was "to take cognisance of the fact that we are a nationwide union".

It followed a successful lobbying campaign by Scottish members, who had increased to more than 4,000 compared with the 1,000 when he became an official 15 years ago.

The meeting will be addressed by Gillian Shephard, Education Secretary, David Blunkett, Labour education spokesman, and Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat spokesman. During the debates Scottish delegates are likely to focus on the alleged crisis in school discipline.

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