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30 years ago

A "call for a national policy about special needs of immigrants" was made by Mrs M Taylor, a Birmingham education officer, to the eighth annual conference for teachers of modern studies, community relations officers and social workers held at Jordanhill. As reported in The TES Scotland on February 8, 1974:

"Mrs Taylor said there was a danger that the phrase 'problems of immigrant children' had become inverted to suggest that all immigrant children had problems. This was not necessarily so but they did have real needs . . .

"Education in basic English for such children was often minimal and frequently stopped when the child had only the barest understanding . . .

The country needed a national policy to meet the needs of such children . .

"Mr Walter Fyfe, community relations officer, Glasgow, said . . . English cities were now facing the problem Glasgow had faced last century with the immigration of Highlanders, Irish and East European Jews . . . (who) had left anomalies in the city's education system which should now be resolved.

"Was it unreasonable that Sikhs, concerned for their teenage daughters, should seek to establish a separate school for Muslim girls?

"Teachers were increasingly likely to find coloured children in their classrooms. Teacher training should include an element of guidance on how to handle such pupils, and also teach something of their culture."

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