25 Years Ago

8th November 1996 at 00:00
James Carmichael writes that Edinburgh's medical officer of health has been complaining that the Scottish Education Department and teachers are showing indifference "as the health and morals of our young people go down before venereal disease, promiscuity, hooliganism and drug-taking".

But his experience, after visiting a wide cross-section of schools, is that teachers are ever-watchful. Hooliganism is a serious problem in some areas but "it is seldom that youthful hooliganism or misdemeanour can match the current adult standard." Appeals to sanctions and moral authority "have to be accepted as valid before they can be efficacious".

THE LETTERS page is dominated by arguments over corporal punishment. "I look forward to the day when teachers will be justified in regarding the use of corporal punishment as an instance of personal - and social - failure," writes Thomas Harvey of Lanark. But Alexander McLeod from Fort William says that, if the alternatives are not acceptable to the majority of teachers, "the result can only be unimaginable chaos".

A LEADING schools inspector tells an Educational Institute of Scotland conference that primary schools already had what the rest of the educational system should envy: self-disciplined pupils who are accustomed to working not for external reasons, such as examinations, but for the sake of the work itself.

TOM BONE, principal-designate of Jordanhill, outlined his plan for "courses of training for responsibility," which applicants for senior posts would be required to take before being considered for appointment. This would stimulate teachers to return to training not because of sanctions but the prospect of reward.

THE SCOTTISH Education Department has finally confirmed September 1, 1972 as the date for the raising of the school leaving age.

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