All the ex-presidents' puzzle

18th December 1998 at 00:00
THE GENERAL Teaching Council was in a chirpy mood for the last meeting of the existing body - until, that is, they heard about the all-time low turnout for the four-yearly elections.

Neither did the members know that it would be the last council to be chaired by Mary Rose Caden, who fell spectacularly for daring to stand against the might of the Educational Institute of Scotland "slate" of candidates (page three). It doesn't even pay to be an ex-president of the EIS these days.

Tony Finn, the head of St Andrew's High in Kirkcaldy and the GTC's education convener, is an obvious contender for the succession. But perhaps two secondary Catholic persons from the east (Caden is at St Augustine's Secondary in Edinburgh) would be overdoing it.

So the hot money for the new GTC convener must now be on Norma Anne Watson, the head of Kirkhill Nursery in Broxburn, West Lothian. Popular, respected, experienced, female and a nursery person to boot. But she, too, is a former EIS president.

Then there are Wolseley Brown, chair of the GTC's committee which exceptionally admits to the register those without the benefit of a good Scottish education, and newcomer May Ferries. Both work in the primary sector and they are both wise persons from the west. But they are also, er, ex-EIS presidents. Oh well.

Watson and Brown must surely also be ruled out on age grounds - i.e. they refused to state their ages on their election statements. Clearly people not to be trusted. No such shyness came over Caden, who boldly declared her 59 years. Surely the EIS cannot have been guilty of ageism in excluding her from its slate.

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