May I add my congratulations to those of Sean McPartlin (TESS, last week).
It is indeed a cause for celebration when an able secondary teacher is rewarded by achieving promotion in his or her subject, in this case in "a large Edinburgh secondary".
What a pity that the considerable talents of Sean's colleague will now be lost to West Lothian Council, the employer of both these teachers. I have no personal knowledge of "Gerry" of course but I do know that, regardless of his ability, his chances of becoming a principal teacher of English in West Lothian were a little less than those of a cat in hell.
West Lothian Council is, of course, committed to a policy of management restructuring and is intent on removing principal teacher subject posts in favour of "PT curriculum". My union has repeatedly warned of the consequences, here so clearly exemplified.
Peter Wright District secretary Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, West Lothian