Who needs quality to get on?;Jotter;Opinion

10th September 1999 at 01:00
MICHAEL O'NEILL has come a long way. Scotland's chief director of education, whose day job in charge of North Lanarkshire also keeps him out of mischief, was reminding us the other week of how swift has been his rise.

Flanked by Keir Bloomer, his number two in the Association of Directors of Education, O'Neill recalled the good old days when Bloomer was on an interview panel that rejected him for a quality assurance post in Strathclyde's famed "securitate".

Perhaps his presentation had something to do with it: depicting a leather-clad stormtrooper breaking down the school doors was not calculated to tickle the Strathclyde sense of humour of the day.

Another veteran who stalled the ambitious youngster on the same panel was John Mulgrew, then a senior Strathclyde man and now director in East Ayrshire. Mulgrew, curiously, has also belatedly followed O'Neill into the top echelons of the ADES; he is the new vice-president. Both Bloomer and Mulgrew, we should add, eventually chose O'Neill for an adviser's post.

So far as we know Gordon Jeyes, Stirling's director (of everything except roads and housing, it seems), has never rejected O'Neill for anything. Perhaps that is why the outspoken young Turk is the new general secretary, taking over from Anne Wilson of Dundee (to whom he lost narrowly in a previous contest).

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today