Three chairs for Moray House's principal;Jotter

13th March 1998 at 00:00
Jotter is happy to scotch rumours that Lord Irvine of Lairg, the wallpaper king, has been employed as a consultant to the General Teaching Council as it licks into shape its new premises on Corstorphine Hill, not far from Edinburgh Zoo.

Thorough investigation has shown there is no monkey business, although teachers might be forgiven for asking, now that they have to stump up pound;20 a year, instead of pound;10, for the privilege, having a teaching council.

Gordon Kirk, the GTC's vice-convener and principal of Moray House, came clean last week about a longstanding "matter of raging controversy" - a set of oak tables and chairs that graced the former boardroom in Royal Terrace.

It has been argued, especially by women, that the tables scratched legs and ripped tights. They had to go (the tables, that is). Graciously, Professor Kirk had offered them a fine home at Moray House but has been accused of begging by Keir Bloomer, now director in Clackmannan, who had recommended sale with a pound;1,000 price tag.

Under cover of the flitting, the famed furniture is now "on permanent loan" to you can guess where (no, not the Lord Chancellor's single-end, silly). A suitable room is being prepared, along with a plaque to honour the origin of the tables and chairs.

This was too much for George Livingstone, vice-dean at Strathclyde University. "I recall the story of furniture and Edinburgh," he told the council. "Four chairs and a table on the street in Glasgow and it's a roup. In Edinburgh, it's a bistro."

Absent friend More west-east gibes following the General Teaching Council's invitation to Elizabeth Maginnis to give an after-dinner address at the October meeting in Edinburgh. Ivor Sutherland, the Sir Humphrey of the GTC, said he was only "pursuing tradition" in inviting the host.

"I am surprised and disgusted," protested Wolseley Brown from North Lanarkshire and a former Educational Institute of Scotland salaries convener. Maginnis had attended no meetings of the GTC, so why invite her now?

Sutherland helpfully pointed out she had not yet accepted. "She'll have had her tea," a Glasgow voice helpfully suggested.

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