Press chief's private secret

22nd July 2005 at 01:00
Private schools have lost their public face. Dick Davison, director of communications of the Independent Schools Council, left last Friday after 16 years in the role.

The affable Davison, respected by heads and hacks alike, aims to pursue "a moderately satisfying portfolio" of work in education and the media. While at the ISC and its forerunner bodies, Davision was a keen advocate of partnership between state and private schools. Perhaps the strangest case of this came in his earlier role as chief press officer of the Inner London Education Authority, in the mid-1980s.

A story had appeared in The Times suggesting that classics had all but died in ILEA schools. Frances Morrell, then leader of the authority, wanted a letter of correction sent pronto. Davison, not one to miss a trick, felt it should be in Latin. But who could write it? Scouts seeking classicists searched County Hall in vain. But Davison did not give up. He asked his sister-in-law, a teacher, to oblige - and won a front-page story.

Only now has he revealed that his sister-in-law taught at the time at a private girls' school.

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