Dowson's descent

11th September 1998 at 01:00
John Dowson, leader of the Independent-Liberal Democrat coalition in Dumfries and Galloway, is a man of independent mind.

In the 1992 general election, he stood for Labour against Ian Lang in Galloway and lost heavily. Last time out, he switched to the Referendum Party before withdrawing and advising supporters to vote Tory. His wife is a staunch trade unionist.

Last week's education committee revealed all his maverick qualities as leader of the Independents when he challenged a request from the directorate, approved at the pre-meeting by the controlling "admin group", to take up the Government's option of two extra days for Higher Still training.

Dowson did not want to see children losing two days' education and said teachers should give up two days of their holidays instead, paid for by the Government.

An amendment found no seconder. "I'm nearly as unpopular with teachers as I am with social workers," he confessed. "What the hell. Can I have my 'descent' recorded?"

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today