THE BATTLE for the top elected job in the General Teaching Council for Scotland had its own episode of spoiled ballot papers this week, but not quite on the scale of the Scottish parliamentary election.
The contest for convener was won by union stalwart May Ferries, the depute head of Victoria Primary in Glasgow, who saw off the challenge from Jim Thewliss, the head of Harris Academy in Dundee and an executive member of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland. The result was 17 votes to 11, with two spoiled papers.
The outcome was keenly awaited since it was also a contest between the Educational Institute of Scotland, to which Ms Ferries belongs, and HAS, as well as between the primary and secondary sectors.
Ms Ferries's victory represents the third time in recent years that GTC Scotland will have been led by a leading member of the EIS. But she has been active in the GTCS for a long time and is currently convener of the committee on exceptional admission to the register. She has also chaired the council's probation committee and disciplinary sub-committee.
Mr Thewliss is vice-convener of the council.
The election was prompted by the retirement of Norma Anne Watson after eight years as convener. Also a leading light in the Educational Institute of Scot-land, she is head of Kirkhill Pri-mary in Broxburn, West Lothian.
Matthew MacIver, chief executive of the GTCS, said: "The post of GTCS Convener is an important one in Scottish education. May will provide direction and support to council members as they develop policy and drive forward the work of this organisation, regulating the teaching profession."