We are grateful to Fraser Sanderson, top man in the education directors'
association, for his contribution to Education in the North magazine.
Sanderson's, of course, is the view from the south - Dumfries.
"I was at a retiral function of one of our longer-serving secondary school depute headteachers and he spoke of the absence rules which he had introduced for staff in his early days," he writes.
"Rule 1: no illness to be allowed which you can't spell. This led to a staggering drop in those suffering from diarrhoea but a matched increase in those suffering from 'the skitters'.
"He then did the same approach with pupils making their subject choices but had to abandon this also since he was in danger of destroying the entire school curriculum!"