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40 years of Scottish education

1965 Primary Memorandum favours child-centred teaching. GTC founded.

1966 Edinburgh education committee votes to set up its own television service.

1967 Stirling - the only brand-new university - takes in its first students.

1968 Guidance structure proposed for secondary schools.

1969 A year after free milk for secondary pupils was stopped, only 24 schools have installed dispensing machines.

1970 During Edinburgh University sit-in, appointments office files on students revealed, including comment "possibly a Jew".

1971 Five Ainslie Park Secondary pupils from Edinburgh and a voluntary instructor die in Cairngorms snowstorm.

1972 Fifteen-year-old pupils must stay on for S4.

1973 Gordon Campbell (right), the Tory Secretary of State, refuses to stop Glasgow abolishing selection and fee-paying council schools.

1974 Radical headteacher R.F. Mackenzie suspended by Aberdeen because he could not control Summerhill Academy.

1975 Alexander report leads new regional councils to make community education statutory.

1976 Drastic cuts in college of education intakes bring 10-day student occupation. A government committee (Stimpson) wants a qualified librarian in every secondary school of more than 600.

1977 Year of the three reports: Munn on S3-S4 curriculum, Dunning on certification and Pack on truancy and indiscipline.

1978 UK-wide Warnock reports move from recognising handicaps to supporting individuals' needs.

1979 New Conservative government launches assisted places scheme for 1,200 secondary pupils.

1980 Research dispels myth that Roman Catholic secondaries have lower academic performance.

1981 "Parents' charter" gives right to choose a school, but fewer pupils mean reduction of colleges of education from 10 to seven.

1982 European Court rules that parents' wishes over the administration of corporal punishment must be respected.

1983 Action Plan for 16-18 year olds introduces National Certificate in further education.

1984 HMI start publishing school reports.

1985 Lothian director of education stops pay of three headteachers who back union sanction on exam procedures.

1986 Sir Peter Main's report paves the way for end to two-year teacher dispute.

1987 New Education Minister Michael Forsyth (left) wants parents to help manage schools.

1988 Scottish Wider Access Programme to increase number of students without traditional entry qualifications for higher education.

1989 All pupils should study a modern language until S4, it is recommended.

1990 National tests mooted for eight-12-year-olds.

1991 Scottish School Board Association formed.

1992 FE colleges to break from local councils, and universities' funding devolved to Scotland while Strathclyde University takes over Jordanhill.

1993 Structure and Balance report gives guidance on minimum time for areas of the five to 14 curriculum.

1994 Higher Still Development Programme is launched.

1995 Thirty-one-year-old Brian MacKinnon masquerades for a year as 17-year-old Brandon Lee at Bearsden Academy.

1996 Sixteen pupils and a teacher are killed by a gunman at Dunblane Primary.

1997 New Labour government withdraws assisted places scheme from independent schools.

1998 Four-year programme launched to give all pupils their personal e-mail address.

1999 First primary school designated for Gaelic-medium education only opens in Glasgow.

2000 Exam candidates given wrong results as Scottish Qualifications Authority fails to cope.

2001 Student tuition fees abolished by Scottish Parliament; McCrone inquiry paves way for higher teacher salaries and slimmed-down promotion structures.

2002 Pre-school places are offered to all three-year-olds.

2003 Retail tycoon Tom Hunter will fund heads' training programme to promote enterprise education.

2004 Executive launches Ambitious, Excellent Schools package, followed by reform plans for assessment and the curriculum. Non Catholics who wish to teach in denominational schools are asked to subscribe to a 10-point charter.

2005 Overhauls proposed for school boards and teacher training.

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