A Miller's tale

30th November 2007 at 00:00
When Brian Miller took over as head at Motherwell's Dalziel High, he decided to replace the many different styles and sizes of prizewinner boards with one.

There was a hundred years' worth of boards containing dozens of names and, inevitably, the signwriter made some mistakes. While correcting the errors, the "no too bright" signwriter was particularly delighted with himself since he believed he had spotted one that the teachers had missed.

Beside 1985 was written "no award" because there had been no dux that year. The signwriter changed it to "Nora Ward". And so it remains to this day: in 1985, Nora Ward won the dux prize at Dalziel High.

The future isn't Orange

Glasgow's education supremo, Baillie Gordon Matheson, was encouraging the winners at the Holyrood Secondary senior award ceremony the other week by noting that Glasgow was now a successful city with the landing of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He told them all, with suitable gravitas and a lingering pause: "The future is bright." And, sotto voce from the audience, came the response "The future is Orange!"

Looking upward to the crucifix above his head on the stage, the good Baillie remembered and added to the enjoyment of the assembly: "I'll have to watch what I say here in an RC school!"

A small world

"If it's running down your leg, it's A Curriculum for Excellence." Thus did Brian Cooklin, president of the secondary heidies, describe the pervasive presence of their favourite reform. Little did he know how pervasive.

A Dutch visitor to these shores stepped into a Glasgow taxi and, having said where he wanted to go, was rather astonished to hear the taxi driver talking about A Curriculum for Excellence, the four capacities and so forth. It turned out his destination was the offices of Learning and Teaching Scotland and he exclaimed to the staff: "This is amazing: even the taxi drivers are talking about it."

Not so amazing, really. For the taxi driver was none other than our old friend, Jimmy Higgins, who retired last year as rector of Stranraer Academy. His love affair with the wheel is clearly continuing, having clocked up a round trip of 166 miles from Stranraer to his home in Barrhead, which he did on 190 school days every year during the 14 years he was at the school.

Fact or fiction

We notice that the ever active Holyrood Events is staging a seminar in a fortnight's time on How to work with the media. The venue? The Scottish Story-telling Centre in Edinburgh. Ah well.

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