McVittie takes the biscuit

20th May 2005 at 01:00
With the imminent retirement of James McVittie, heidie of St Ninian's High in Giffnock, after more than 40 years in education, the stories of his exploits are beginning to circulate thick and fast.

One anecdote - perhaps, but not definitely, apocryphal - relates to his appointment as an adviser on comprehensive education to Martin McGuinness when McGuinness was Northern Ireland's education minister and hatching plans to abolish the province's 11-plus.

McGuinness, it is reported, said to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams: "You wouldn't want to mess with that wee man."

And one can seen how "the biscuit" - as he is fondly referred to - gained that fiercesome reputation. He himself recounts exhorting his second-year assembly to get dressed up for a Hallowe'en party in the school.

One brave soul asked McVittie if he would be dressing up. He replied:

"You'll have to wait and see. What do you think I should dress up as?"

An even braver, not to say foolhardy, soul piped up: "A garden gnome."

McVittie reported: "We gave the boy a Christian burial - it's just a shame he was still alive at the time."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now