Red whine orpinot grudge?

6th May 2005 at 01:00
In the old days, ministers travelled to heads' union conferences with a spring in their step, knowing they would get a more decorous welcome than they did from the classroom unions. No longer.

Weeks after Ruth Kelly faced mutterings from the Secondary Heads Association in Brighton, one of her junior Twiggs actually got booed by National Association of Head Teachers' worthies in Telford.

Are the rival unions trying to outdo each other? Or could the Shropshire welcome be explained by the NAHT's latest perk - launched at the conference - a wine club?

No longer will members have to nip out to Oddbins after a hard day's remodelling: for just pound;59.99 they can get a case including a Spanish chardonnay ("excellent with grilled fish or paella" and an Italian pinot grigio ("with violet floral notes"). If the workload agreement is driving heads to drink, at least it's posh drink.

Does SHA have a wine club too? An email to general secretary John Dunford gets a terse reply: "No."

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