Missing member

16th May 1997 at 01:00
Major revelation from the head of the Inspectorate? Not quite. Douglas Osler, speaking at the primary heads' conference, disclosed that he had discussed his future with his careers teacher as a fourth-year pupil (at the Royal High in Edinburgh - that's our revelation).

"I told him I wanted to be a Member of Parliament," Osler confided. "I even told him for which party but I'm not going to tell you." His careers master was unimpressed: "I want to consider serious possibilities." And so Parliament's loss was education's gain.

Osler is, of course, more at home nowadays standing in for politicians. That indeed is what he was doing at the Dunblane conference since the invitation had originally gone to the Secretary of State. Donald Dewar has hardly had time to formulate his educational thoughts, and was more than happy to allow Osler out on his own as senior chief inspector rather than as his stand-in.

We noted, incidentally, that Osler is also possessed of a touch of prescience. We think we heard him say that he knew "last Wednesday" he would be addressing the conference. That would have been, er, April 30 on the eve of the election. He could, of course, have meant Wednesday May 7.

Yes, that must be it.

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