Bravestart Frank

17th October 1997 at 01:00
Frank McAveety, newly elected leader of Glasgow City Council, must be relishing the prospect. First week in office and school closures are back on the agenda. The 35-year-old English teacher at St Brendan's High in Linwood, in neighbouring Renfrewshire, is one of the most notable successful products of All Saints Secondary on the north-east side of the city.

He comes from a respected family of McAveetys in Barmulloch and took a leading part in opposing the closure of All Saints during the earlier, and partially sunk, Adapting to Change programme.

Guess which secondary may now be included in the hit list? But we were all impetuous when we were young. McAveety himself told the press on Monday that the significant change was the change of Government. Ah well, New Labour, All Change.

The New Leader, formerly the council's arts supremo, clearly considers himself to have been tested by fire, drawing the press's attention on two occasions to the fact that he taught for some years in Greater Easterhouse. He is also clearly at home with New Labour sound-bites. Glasgow, he declared, had made "a brave start" with its secondary schools package but it would require "bravehearts" to carry it through. Who could he have in mind?

Malcolm Green, the education convener, has certainly been scarred by enough closures battles in the past. He was at his most magisterial, with the air of a man who feels he may be about to win the Big One with the help of loadsamoney.

Green was careful not to identify any of the potential victims. But Ken Corsar, the director of education, looked distinctly edgy when his chairman began extolling his "vision" of west end pupils going east because "scheme schools" such as Bellarmine or Lochend were able to provide them with a more satisfying education. Alas, Green stopped there and did not offer us any more hints of likely survivors.

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