Toner's off

And so farewell then to one of our regular columnists, Brian Toner. He retired some months ago as headteacher of St John's primary in Perth and has now decided to call it a day at The TES Scotland as well.

"I have enjoyed it immensely," he says, "especially when I thought that it would only last for a short while. I presumed that I would be found out early on."

Brian was not only one of our most esteemed and longest-serving columnists, he must also be one of our longest-serving readers - going back to 1968, he tells us.

He had a keen eye for linking the concerns of the day to the life of his school - a journalist's eye, one might say. That included a fine sense of the arresting introduction. "I knew Rolf Harris before Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" turned out to be about the expressive arts.

His column was always a happy mix of the light-hearted and the sombre, the professional and the personal - a striking example of the last being his courageous account of his descent into stress-induced depression (January 25, 2002).

Happy retirement, Brian, from all at The TESS.

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