30 Years Ago

Robert Reid, the headteacher at Newbattle High in Midlothian, welcomed in the New Year for all secondary teachers, (The TESS, January 3, 1975) with a call to abolish the examinations system.

The time has come to abandon the SCE examinations. They have assumed an importance far beyond their positive contribution to our educational system.

"Teaching and learning for their own sake, the original reasons for founding schools, have apparently been displaced by the requirement to prepare and present pupils for examinations. This is a sad state of affairs.

There was no thought of making examination success an end in itself when a leaving examination was first suggested in 1886.

The need for a national test to secure common standards has long since passed - thanks in part to the institution of such a test.

Eighty-six years have seen the attainment of national secondary education.

Teachers today have the opportunity for free and easy exchange of ideas, notions and concepts in a way their late 19th-century counterparts could not have.

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