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25 Years ago

TES Scotland, May 19, 1972

On the eve of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly, R D Kernohan, a leading Protestant commentator, took time out to acknowledge that Catholic schools have their place if only on grounds of parental choice.

"After all any Catholic who dislikes his church's view can vote for integration by sending his children to a non-denominational school," he wrote. Some Catholic attitudes, however, reminded him of the cartoon in which a solemn monk says to his colleague: "But I am holier than thou."

* Glasgow has just finished appointing guidance staff to all its secondary schools, having begun the process experimentally in 1963. A two-day in-service course heard from Neil Toppin, the city's guidance adviser, that they should aim for a modest programme in their first year to avoid confirming the cynics and frightening those who had legitimate doubts.

* The spate of in-service courses, working parties and conferences came under fire from the Honours Graduate Teachers' Association. While some good work emerged, these activities contributed to the trendiness of Scottish education, contributing the stock of 'in' words and attitudes.

Teachers ended up being confused, according to Mr Robert Findlay. It was much easier to go along with the mood of a conference than to stand up and say "You are a flaming liar".

* Teachers must examine their attitudes and examine their practices to avoid "engendering negative or even hostile feelings in pupils towards school and all it stands for," according to a report by Aberdeen education authority on the raising of the school leaving age.

* A leading article noted: "The report 'College Costs' from Glasgow University management of education research unit comes at a time when many FE colleges are profoundly uneasy about their role and status, when they cannot tell how industrial training is likely to turn, and when there is continuing uncertainty, especially in recently upgraded institutions, about the definitions of and distinctions to be made between academic and vocational training."

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