Jotter - When jazz hits the fan

26th February 2010 at 00:00

Being an exam marker used to be so much simpler, a wistful David Cameron reminisced recently when he was talking to chartered teachers.

The former leader of our education directors never forgot some pithy advice from a chief examiner in, er, the good old days: "As long as the clever bairns pass and the stupid ones fail, we'll be fine."

How times have changed. Cameron reckons that "learning needs to be like modern jazz" - leaving room for improvisation. As jazz great Miles Davis put it: "When you're creating your own shit, even the sky ain't the limit."

Director in hot water

John Wilson, East Renfrewshire schools supremo, has been no stranger to hot water recently as he battled it out with Glasgow on school catchment areas.

So the doughty fighter might have felt at home when, we can reveal exclusively, he found himself in a hot tub in the company of a lady. Alas for hacks of a certain disposition, it was all above board: Wilson's good lady wife had arranged a surprise weekend away to mark a significant birthday in the Baron of Barrhead's life.

There is no truth in the rumour that a hot tub has now been installed on the roof of the education department offices in Barrhead, as the water is hot enough there already.

Disclosure checked

Aberdeen's Pittodrie stadium has seen much prowess on the field in recent years. It played host last week to more than 60 students from Aberdeen College who were picking up sports coaching awards. Among them were an HND group who were presented with "Early Touches for Children" certificates. Own goal?

Meenister o Malawi

Good on the Scots Independent for coming to the aid of former dear education leader Fiona Hyslop. "There's some that wul say that the poseetion o Meenister o Cultur is a stap doun frae that of Meenister o Eddication," rails columnist Kenneth Fraser. "Dinnae believe them!"

No wonder: no longer the tedious round of headteachers' and education directors' conferences for Hyslop, who is now External Affairs Minister as well. Instead, she has spent the last week in Malawi being uplifted by people who don't give her a hard time.

But it's about time the Scots Independent caught up. The picture of the SNP Government in its February issue shows Hyslop standing proudly with her old Cabinet colleagues. Mike Russell should be told.

Such a darling

Balerno High heidie Rory Mackenzie must have had to grab a tightrope when Chancellor Alastair Darling came to call last week to speak to S6 pupils in his Edinburgh South West constituency. He took the opportunity to tell them the local Lib DemSNP council - Mackenzie's employer - was "chaotic".

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