Jotter - Off with their heads

27th August 2010 at 01:00
Our readers will be aware of the extraordinary saga of Bruce Robertson's departure as Aberdeenshire's director of education. His exit followed a six-month suspension on full pay and an inquiry into the running of his old department, which was reputed to have cost more than pound;300,000.

We first reported on all this, of course, back in February and, as is the way with The TESS website, our editorial content is always helpfully linked to a relevant educational resource. Perhaps in this case, it was more relevant than we intended - the link was to the guillotined Louis XVI of France, who also fell foul of the authorities over what might be termed his "management style".

Alas, there are times when heads must roll.

A singular institution

We have been a bit slow to congratulate our old friend Howard McKenzie on his appointment as the new principal of the private West George College in Glasgow, which targets students from Asia.

As the former chief executive of Scotland's Colleges, McKenzie was the scourge of "bogus colleges", of which West George was allegedly an example. But the new principal has pronounced the institution hunky-dory or, as he put it, the college has "huge potential".

That "potential" undoubtedly includes its website. As well as telling students how to "enroll", the college has a "leturer" (perhaps more than one) and a person who secured "market leadership for Walker crisp" in Scotland (just the one crisp, then).

A matter of principle

We're pleased to see another player in the CPD field, Coaching Training Consultancy Ltd. They tell us that they have developed an educational leadership programme which is aimed at "principle" teachers. Surely not yet another upheaval in promoted posts?

No change?

News has reached us that Inverclyde Council has approved the sale of the former Greenock High and Glenburn special school to the Scottish Prison Service as the site for the new Inverclyde Prison. We couldn't possibly comment.

Bottoms up

Our sister paper, Times Higher Education, has once again been keeping a vigilant eye on this year's student exam howlers. There's the Dundee student who thought "Vagina Henderson" was one of the first modern nurses of the 20th century (Virginia will be miffed). And a student at Warwick apologised profusely for missing an exam with the words: "I am sorry if this caused you any incontinence."

But the winning entry, from a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, reported the student who referred throughout his essay to "anus crimes". It took some time for the academic to realise that he meant "heinous crimes".

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