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30 years ago

With nursery provision due to be introduced in Scotland in autumn 1974, The TES Scotland reported on January 25, 1974:

"Degrees of social, physical and mental handicaps as well as age are suggested as criteria for selection of nursery school pupils in a report by Charles Pert, director of education, to East Lothian education committee .

. .

"Mr Pert says social handicap can be measured by low family income, poor housing, single-parent family and family size, single-child families and very large families both presenting difficulties.

"Liaison with social work and health departments will, Mr Pert says, be important in determining the children in greatest need, and the former is best placed to advise on low income and poor housing . . .

"Certain categories of mentally handicapped children, Mr Pert says, could have priority. The Child Guidance Service would have an advisory role in selection."

A TES Scotland leader commented: "It remains to be seen whether the element of positive discrimination that has become prominent in plans for pre-school provision will create an impression that nursery schools are for the underprivileged or handicapped, and that therefore to go to one is to be thought underprivileged and handicapped."

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