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30 years ago

Dumfries, once home to the great poet and staunch egalitarian Robert Burns, was still finding it difficult to come terms with the principle of comprehensive education in 1974, as The TES Scotland reported on December 20:

"Dumfries teachers, representing Dumfries high school, Maxwelltown high school and Dumfries Academy, have formed a committee to co-ordinate a campaign for the abolition of two-tier education in the town.

"The Committee for Reform of Secondary Schools (CROSS) was formed after teachers had discussed the system in Dumfries whereby pupils in the top bracket of the two high schools are creamed off after the second year and educated at Dumfries Academy.

"The chairman is Mr I Marriot, of Dumfries high, and the secretary is Mr D Irving, of Maxwelltown high.

"A recent report by the Dumfries branch of CASE (Committee for the Advancement of State Education) condemned the system, saying it had an adverse effect on the pupils who remained at the high schools after the second year.

"The report also called for a streamlining of secondary education in the town with three high schools, each having its own catchment areas and education at least till the fifth year."

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