Royal rumpus

8th June 2001 at 01:00
This week's annual meeting of the Educational Institute of Scotland very nearly never took place because of an 18-month dispute over the non-replacement of Fred Forrester, the union's former depute general secretary, who now plies his trade in occasional journalism.

Only a settlement at the end of May with the office branch of the MSF union saved the day. Officials were due to strike and even general secretary Ronnie Smith - not normally inclined to rush to the barricades - told elected members there couldbe no show if they were not on duty.

The fallback, as ever, was the second EIS royal charter, granted by George V in 1925, which requires that an annual meeting shall be held on dates fixed by the previous annual meeting. In theory, Her Majesty could have received protests.

There were rumours the monarch was set to dispatch Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell to Moray Place to insist the event should take place. Smith, it was suggested, would have capitulated when faced with "Stalin's Granny".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today