A bridge too far to Moray Place

30th March 2001 at 01:00
It being the General Teaching Council for Scotland, which operates with a panoply of subgroups, a "waygoing committee" was formed to mark the departure of Ivor Sutherland, registrar since 1985. And a gathering of the nearest to glitterati that Scottish education can produce was convened last Friday night in the Playfair library of Edinburgh University.

Among Sutherland's achievements was to oversee the replication of the GTC in various corners of the English-speaking world, presumably without the stranglehold that the Educational Institute of Scotland has imposed on council elections back home. A posse of Canadians as on hand to demonstrate the Scottish diaspora in the provinces from Ontario to British Columbia.

Sutherland said he was not alone in being a fan of Canada. His enthusiasm was shared by Gordon McIntyre, one of the depute registrars, who had come across a fairy-tale genie offering him any wish he wanted. "A bridge from Scotland to Toronto," requested McIntyre.

But the genie said: "All that way across the Atlantic, it's impossible. Give me another wish."

McIntyre tried again: "That the EIS accepts the single transferable vote for GTC elections." The genie looked shaken: "About that bridge . . ."

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