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New pack hopes to sew up schools

A new teaching pack on textiles and clothing launched last week at Dalziel High in Motherwell aims to transform the image of an industry better known for rags than riches. In Scotland, around 41,000 workers are employed in the sector and the pack hopes to strengthen links between school and workplace.

It was piloted north of the border at Dalziel High, Ravenswood primary, Cumbernauld, and Kinross primary.

Kevin Johnston, managing director of Daks Simpson, which has factories at Larkhall and Polbeth, said: "Factories and mills have always appeared to be dull and boring with many a television play based on the dark Satanic mills of the north of England or the sweat shops of Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street. "

The pack includes videos about the history of clothing and textiles, their design and manufacture and the fashion industry. Teaching aids include ring-binders with samples of yarn, thread, cloth and textiles, as well as text and photographs.

Michael O'Neill, director of education in North Lanarkshire, said the pack touched upon science, technology, health, the expressive arts, art and design and home economics. Some 16 employers in the area are involved in the textiles business.

The International Business Education Co-operation Charitable Trust played a key role in the development, along with 50 schools throughout the United Kingdom. Details from IBEC, King's College Hampstead, Bay House, Kidderpore Avenue, London NW3 7ST.

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