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25 years ago

It is one of the odder aspects of the designated schools scheme that the increased number of posts qualifying the holders for an extra Pounds 100 or Pounds 200 a year reflects an improving rather than a worsening staffing situation in the country as a whole. The scheme allows for a quota of designated posts equal to 10 per cent of the number of teachers employed in the country . . .

Such a scheme cannot but have anomalies. Authorities such as Dunbartonshire and Fife, which have good overall ratios, still qualify for the scheme on the basis of one or two schools. It looks as if authorities which have attempted to ease their own distribution problems are suffering, while those which have kept their blackspots very black and overstocked their "good" schools are rewarded.

* Aberdeen University's standards of entry for next session were clearly higher than for previous sessions, said Miss Dorothy Kidd, headmistress of Albyn School for Girls, Aberdeen, at the school's prize-giving ceremony. She thought that the university should give a least a full year's warning if it was adjusting entry standards.

* An increased use of objective testing is bound to bring with it an enhanced reliability and a decrease in the subjectivity of external examinations, particularly in schools. Unfortunately it seems most likely that there will be no real progress towards improving examining techniques in this country for several years until it is realised that existing recommended techniques for the production and selection of objective test items are both blatantly inadequate and highly inappropriate where the tests are used to assess achievement.

* Teaching schools comparable to teaching hospitals were proposed by Mr Farquhar Macintosh, rector of Oban High School and chairman of Jordanhill College board of governors. He was speaking at the school prize-giving.

TES SCOTLAND, July 9, 1971

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