More family fun from the Mossneuk marvel

21st November 1997 at 00:00
The saga of the Boyd family's educational experiences is becoming more exciting. Readers will remember that young Christopher has become an indispensable adjunct to speeches by dad Brian of Jordanhill's Quality in Education Centre. And Christopher knows it. "Are you going to talk about me again today?" Boyd junior enquired as father prepared to address the Educational Institute of Scotland's conference (page three).

Christopher, we are happy to report, is now a primary 7 pupil at Mossneuk primary in East Kilbride and therefore about to transfer to the first two years of secondary, no doubt providing dad with further scientific justification for his criticisms of Scottish Office policy.

In the meantime, the "Mossneuk marvel" and "junior gem" - his school being into praise and recognition, you understand, as well as alliteration - appears to have been the contented recipient of a good Scottish state education. Not so grandma, Brian's mum. She left school after only two years in the "advanced division", Boyd inform-ed us, not having received anything resembling a secondary education.

Things had not changed much by the time her son began his teaching career. He recalled, as a young probationer, wrestling with a second-year class which included the infamous "modifieds". His opening gambit was to try to enthuse them with his best English crit lesson at Jordanhill, "Dulce et Decorum Est".

This poetic gem did not wash. "Sir," one boy remonstrated, "we don't do that kind of stuff, we're thick." Boyd recalled: "What he was really trying to do was reach an accommodation: don't bother us and we won't bother you. I probably pass him every day now on the M8 - driving a Merc." But what of the wife of Brian? "When did you last teach?" she asked.

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