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Past TimesEd

75 years September 8 1928

The Cardiff Schoolmasters' Association, in their appeal to Lord Eustace Percy (education secretary) to make a regulation that all appointments to headmasterships under the local education authority should be made by a committee of not more than three persons, so as to diminish the evils of canvassing, have suggested a rather desperate remedy for an admittedly serious evil.

They allege that such factors as "personal acquaintance, social work done outside school, the church or chapel attended by the candidate, and the political party to which he belongs" are frequently the determining causes of promotion, and the last thing is efficiency as a teacher.

50 years September 4 1953

Once a labour of love, the school journey has become, for many teachers, the only way of affording a foreign holiday. No one will grudge it them if they work their passage, which niceties aside, is the implication of the leader's free railway pass. However, many teachers are not doing their job.

Members of some school parties seem to be behaving worse in front of foreign eyes than they ever do at home. The blame is properly placed on the escort.

Although the uncomely schoolmistress, shepherding her pig-tailed party round the Louvre, has become a figure of fun, she - and her opposite number from the boys' school - made a better job of it than the absentee leader who has gone off on his own or the teacher who is afraid to insist on decent behaviour.

25 years September 8 1978

Radical new proposals for changing education in Coventry - including the introduction of testing at 11 and 14, compulsory CSEs and GCSEs and closer contact with employers - have been approved by the education committee.

But implementation of the policy is not going to be easy. All teaching opinion is against the testing proposals. Director of education Robert Aitken's proposals include employment liaison committees for every school to foster links and exchange schemes between schools and firms.

It is recommended that employers should be able to advise on the content of curricula including the syllabuses for CSE exams which are set and marked by teachers.

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