Sober rebuff for the director's last cocktail

5th April 1996 at 01:00
And so we welcome the new councils and must learn never to let words like "region" and "depute" pass our lips. The parties which celebrated, or mourned, the passing of the old have come and gone, mostly with good grace, dollops of nostalgia and satisfaction at jobs well done.

But not in Strathclyde, as ever out of step. A kindly gesture by director Frank Pignatelli inviting teacher members of the joint consultative committee to a farewell cocktail party received a stony-hearted rebuff from Kenneth Fee of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

Fee has been conducting running battles with Strathclyde for many years, not least over what he calls his exile at Glasgow's Penilee Secondary whence he was forcibly patriated from Hillpark Secondary.

Fee told committee convener Drew Morrice (a member of a rival but somewhat larger union) in no uncertain terms what Pignatelli could do with his invitation. "Please tender my apologies - you will not be surprised by my inability to accept this last token patronage gesture from the person who, almost as much as yourselves, has been responsible for the impoverishment of Strathclyde's teachers and hence the education of its little children to whom we are all accountable".

Would Fee have been happier with the modest ceremony at Our Lady of the Rosary primary in Glasgow where headteacher Anna McPeake announced a special presentation for staff? Joy all round when each was presented with a regional council HB drawing pencil.

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