Play that mike again, Sam

10th July 1998 at 01:00
A new job beckons for Sam Galbraith, Scotland's Children's Minister - and now chairman extraordinary.

At the recent childcare "summit" in Edinburgh, Galbraith won golden opinions. Not only did he address the meeting, but he stayed for the entire morning's proceedings. And not only that - he actually chaired the event, moving seamlessly from ministerial mode to presiding officer.

Then came the tour de force. "I'm going to come amongst you," announced the Pounds 69,339-a-year Minister of the Crown as he took the roving microphone and began conducting the question and answer session.

"OK, who wants to ask the first question apart from Sam Campbell?" asked chairman Galbraith, anxious not to have Midlothian's colourful social services convener get in the way of the practitioners' voice.

The honour fell to Raywyn Black of the West Lothian out-of-school network. She welcomed the Government's childcare strategy, said it was long overdue, pressed all the right buttons, delighted to see it, etc etc. "However . . ." she continued. "Ah yes, however . . ." Galbraith groaned.

Black followed her "however" with an attack on "outdated attitudes" among councillors and local officials. "Sam Campbell, I think you should respond to that," said the other Sam mischievously. "How long have I got?" asked Campbell. "Sixty seconds," said the even-handed chair.

As Campbell began helpfully to explain that Midlothian was just outside Edinburgh, he was rewarded with a magisterial "come on, get on with it" from the impatient children's champion.

Next on her feet was Sheila Cronin, head of Renfrewshire education's community and special services. "Now don't spend time praising our childcare strategy, " she was advised. "We'll take that as read."

Other helpful tips followed. "You've got to hold the microphone close to your mouth," Galbraith told one questioner. "Closer than that." As for his final questioner, nothing could be simpler. "I'll come to you," the chairman decided, advancing at speed. "You're at the front. It's easier."

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


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