And so to the annual extravaganza that is the Scottish Learning Festival, at the SECC in Glasgow last week. It was the first appearance of the veteran John Mulgrew, retired East Ayrshire education director, in his role as chairman of Learning and Teaching Scotland, the organisers.
Mulgrew's appointment is a pleasing closing of a circle. He and Bernard McLeary, LTS chief exe utive, go back a long way. As McLeary recalled, Mulgrew appointed him as an education adviser in the old Strathclyde Region days: "I spent the last 25 years trying to escape from him and now I've got him back."
McLeary has himself settled into the job, but perhaps his organisation remains a bit tentative. At last year's festival, the staff handed him his ID badge bearing the legend "Bernard McLeary, temporary visitor." This year, there was no badge at all. Ouch.