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Something to shout about

It may be emblematic of our age that the annual ceremony which celebrates success in Scottish schools passes with barely a mention, apart from the the regular attention it receives from a media odd couple - The TES Scotland and the Daily Record. Therein lies the trouble, of course: competitor newspapers will not give the initiative the time of day since the awards are sponsored by a rival. We cheerfully ignore such conventions for the greater good, of acknowledging that there are successes worth celebrating in Scottish schools.

It is more essential than ever to note these accomplishments for they are often achieved in the face of great problems, whether passing or deep-seated. We go so far as to endorse the comment by the editor of the Record that "we have plenty to shout about". It is a pity that the voices which proclaim this truth do not always find a ready ear on the nation's newsdesks.

Of course, there are other voices - those who believe that such "competitive" awards have no place and that other equally good work goes unrecognised. But the schools, their pupils and parents who enter, are short-listed and win do not take that view and are happy to celebrate their own achievements as well as the achievements of others. It would certainly have been invidious for managers to select a "teacher of the year", as was originally feared - so the pupils do it, and that is as it should be.

In any case, there were 536 entries this year, more than three times the number last year. That, surely, gives us something to shout about.

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