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Wattie talking about?

Willie Wattie, the head of James Gillespie's primary in Edinburgh, likes to speak his mind. Alternatively, he could be contemplating retirement.

Why otherwise would he use his school newsletter to lambast the "hippie ideology" of the 1960s which had destroyed primary teaching? In his sights was the Scottish Executive - and possibly his Edinburgh Council employers - who had deluged him in one year alone with 71 publications containing some 3,500 pages of advice, most of it about the curriculum.

Clearly a chap who does his homework, Wattie has discovered that the 5-14 programme weighs about 2kg, the same as the Inner London telephone directory. Apparently, it has 600 pages covering 135 strands of learning and 600 attainment targets.

Wattie's message from all this was that there should be less central interference and more trust in teachers' professionalism. Funnily enough, we heard that said recently - from, er, a chap called Peacock.

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