25 Years ago

The Headmasters' Association of Scotland has decided to set up a working party to consider whether a single standardised examination should be established in Scotland. The move, (which turned out to be12 years before Standard grade), follows "widespread and prolonged speculation" about whether the Ordinary grade should be extended or replaced by a new examination more suited to a wide range of pupil abilities.

* One of the survivors of last November's tragedy in the Cairngorms, when five Edinburgh pupils and a student died, admitted to the inquiry at Banff that it had been a mistake to take the party from Ainslie Park Secondary to the hills.

Catherine Davidson, aged 20 from East Lothian, who was one of the group leaders and was one of two survivors, also agreed, under cross-examination from Donald Macaulay, advocate for the victims' families, that the children were tested "beyond the limits of their endurance".

Raymond Leslie, aged 15, the pupil who survived, paid tribute to Miss Davidson, who had no mountain leadership qualifications, for her efforts to prevent the snow overwhelming the children. "She could not do any better, " he said.

* "It would be helpful if university staff could be persuaded to go back to the older traditions of the Scottish universities which emphasised teaching as well as research: they might also raise their average hours teaching per week from the present eight or nine to the 16 or 17 customary in Oxford and Cambridge colleges." This was the view of academic and leading Labour politician John P Mackintosh, MP.

* Alan Calderwood, director of education in Peebles-shire, has been appointed director in the London borough of Hillingdon - believed to be the first Scottish director to have made a straight move into such a post south of the border.

TES Scotland, February 11, 1972

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