Careful what you say now

14th March 2008 at 00:00
The august members of the General Teaching Council for Scotland have often struck an uncertain note. This is nothing to do with the quality of their deliberations, of course, more the quality of the acoustics in their offices.

No more. A new sound system has been installed in its meeting room. But it came with a health warning, as convener May Ferries urged members at their meeting last week to make sure any comments, "professional and unprofessional", were ones they wanted people to hear.

At least we think that's what she said.

Peter's gospel

If the Educational Institute of Scotland thought it had heard the last of former president Peter Quigley, it was mistaken. The dispute between the two has led to him receiving a court summons, in the case of the EIS against Peter Quigley, to make sure he doesn't turn up at meetings and indulge in "disruptive behaviour".

But he doesn't like that word - "against".

In his latest letter to members, he declares: "Peter Quigley is not against the EIS." The former president says he is everybody's friend.

Alas, he believes the leadership is treating him worse than a child. "What teacher would ever refer a pupil to the children's panel the first time there was a complaint of disruptive behaviour, instead of dealing with the matter himherself?"

Will it end in tears, or in the Court of Session? Same difference.

Hallelujah

Enthusiasm. That's what David Cameron, vice-president of the education directors' "union" ADES, detects among young teachers.

But it can go badly wrong, as he told the conference of the education professionals formerly known as advisers.

One probationer told him recently that she felt good, "because I feel I'm turning into a real teacher".

"That's great", responded Cameron, "but what exactly do you mean?"

"Oh, I've done nothing but moan since Christmas," came the reply.

But Cameron had one antidote - go along to that bunch of energised missionaries, known as the co-ordinators of Assessment is For Learning.

"It's great," he said, "it's like turning up at a gospel meeting."

Steady on.

Fingering the culprits

The latest missive from council HQ to Edinburgh schools concerns the need for risk assessments by headteachers to avoid pupils losing the tips of their fingers. One helpful suggestion is to pay attention to doors. Apparently, there are classroom doors, toilet doors, even doors near entrances - nine types altogether, in fact.

No, it's not April 1.

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