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Past Times Ed

25 years ago June 24, 1977

IT is ironical that a week after the appearance of the inner cities White Paper, promising increased help to relieve the distress of depressed urban areas, the education authority (Inner London) should be told by its political bosses to give a wide berth to a school attended by some of the boys and girls for whom ordinary schools can do least.

Advice which the members received was that whatever else might be said, the White Lion School is doing a useful job with a very difficult group of children.

The Labour politicians who, somehow, see any "independent" school as a threat to the maintained system, have no clear idea how the 40 pupils in question will be reabsorbed. Earlier this week it seemed that the White Lion Free School radicals were likely to get more support from Mr Robert Vigars, the Conservative leader, than from the party which wears its social conscience on its sleeve.

50 years ago June 27, 1952

CRITICISM of the MINISTER (Florence Horsbrugh) that she shows "a defeatist acceptance of unsatisfactory conditions" in staffing the schools comes ill in the pages of The Schoolmaster. The N.U.T., as can be judged from its conference in April, has not shown sufficient realism even to turn defeatist, let alone give a lead where it might be thought to be most vitally concerned. Deprecating here, deploring there, murmuring contentedly at the old anodynes about maintaining the "quality of entrants". If the MINISTER is defeatist, the N.U.T. is obstructionist. It cannot have escaped its notice that the necessary and immediate consequence of its policy is larger classes, more harassed teachers, worse schools. Persistence in a policy thus calculated to achieve a state of affairs which the union has properly condemned time and time again indicates an insuperable rigidity in its collective mind.

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