Search for a star

21st April 2000 at 01:00
AMID the usual whingefests of the Easter union conferences it's good to discover that some teachers really do rise to a challenge.

Exasperated after two adverts in this organ failed to produce a single suitable candidate for deputy head (memo to advertisers: ignore this item), Christopher Cole, head of St Matthias primary school in north London, decided on a different tack.

His third ad featured a 24 by 19 cm "wordsearch" square, of the sort familiar to pupils everywhere, with the instruction "find yourself below", and ending with the question: "Do you have the above qualities?"

Many it seems dd indeed have initiative and creativity - to name just two of the 14 words hidden in the square. Mr Cole now has the luxury of a shortlist of six to choose from.

"I wanted someone who would dig and search," he told the Diary. "If they really care enough to work in this environment, let's see if they can be prepared to find these 14 words." Or to put it another way: "Let's see if there's anybody bored enough in the staffroom to have a go."

Not everybody was up to it, mind. Apparently the school had local authority advisers phoning up in droves complaining they couldn't find all the words.

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