Pignatelli exits in a Jaguar, passions erased;Jotter

23rd February 1996 at 00:00
"So farewell then Strathclyde education committee, Your last meeting was on St Valentine's Day.

No love was lost."

E J Thribb, bard of Private Eye, would surely have been moved by the demise of this great educational institution. But it was business as normal for the cast.

First up, the problem of teachers on temporary contracts. Frank Pignatelli, giving a bravado final performance as director of education before leaving to join Associated Newspapers in London, called on David Dunbar, his depute, to "give the technical answer" to a query from Chris Mason, the Liberal Democrats' one-man opposition.

"To gie us the right answer," a voice translated from the ranks.

The carping continued over a report on teacher workload that failed to mention a press conference to publicise the problems. "We'll be looking for something better than a four-page glossy in the Daily Mail," Drew Morrice, Educational Institute of Scotland convener, quipped.

"Or the Evening Standard," Mason chipped in ever helpfully.

Mason then moved on to attack the Government plan to end regulation of supervised activities for under-eights. "Appalling, scandalous," he protested, lambasting the director's report as lacking passion.

"Passions are erased when you are in a senior officer's position," the newspaperman replied. It was agreed Labour convener Tommy Farrell should write to the Scottish Office "passionately", as Farrell put it.

"Get Frank to check the spelling and all will be well," Mason advised. The newspaper chief, however, was patently suffering from educational fatigue, praising the "positive environment" he and his officials had worked in.

We leave it to Thribb for the valedictory.

"So farewell then, Frank, You are leaving a Labour council For a Tory newspaper And a whopping big salary.

Double that of the best paid university principal, so they say."

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