Inclusive or what?

29th November 2002 at 00:00
Back to the education directors' bash and their theme of inclusion, equality and social justice. It took Andy Torrance, BT's education supremo, to turn it into equality, inclusion and social justice - or EIS for short. The reaction was appropriate.

Also on the bill was after-dinner speaker George MacNeill, fitness coach and, er, raucous after-dinner speaker. MacNeill indirectly managed to speak to the conference theme, or as one miffed female director put it: "I suppose you could say he was inclusive - he managed to offend everyone."

Inclusion was naturally part of Fraser Sanderson's presidential address. The Dumfries and Galloway director recalled his early teaching career in the late 1960s in a tough Glasgow southside secondary and the grunt of a young lad every Wednesday afternoon as he sped out of the class.

"Am aff tae the annineahal," the teenager blurted.

Sanderson queried the rapid departure with more experienced colleagues before discovering that his devoted student was off to the antenatal clinic to share the joys of impending parenthood with his fiancee. A staffroom cynic sought to explain the regular diary date.

"They're trying to put him back in," he ventured.

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