25 Years Ago

There is nothing in the (public expenditure) White Paper to cause the education lobby to throw hats in the air. One key indicator has deteriorated significantly during the past 12 months and that is the planned rate of growth of spending on education.

In 1970 the unadjusted annual average increase over five years was given as 3.3 per cent. The 1971 White Paper reduces this to 3 per cent. What is abundantly clear is that that kind of growth rate only allows for modest improvements in the service and probably could only be sustained by allowing parts of it positively to deteriorate.

* A survey of Edinburgh schools has shown that those receiving transported meals wasted about twice as much food as those with their own kitchens. The central kitchen system, a report says, is wasteful in time, effort and manpower. One of the central kitchens is to be converted in a Pounds 65, 000 experiment to provide blast-frozen meals to six primary schools.

* Dundee goes completely comprehensive in August 1972 in its non-denominational schools. Morgan Academy and Stobswell secondary are to amalgamate and Harris Academy is to be an all-through comprehensive. The city will have two new non-denominational four-year comprehensives, but the idea of two-year comprehensives has been dropped.

* At a meeting of the Aberdeen branch of the Confederation for the Advancement of State Education, Mr R.F. Mackenzie, headteacher of Summerhill Academy, said there had not been a comprehensive revolution at all, because the system, and particularly the examination system, had defeated the ideal. The other headteachers at the meeting disagreed.

* From a letter to Ayrshire schools: In Service Course - Swimming: The ability to swim is not essential and teachers will not be expected to enter the water.

TES, December 10, 1971

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