25 Years Ago

4th October 1996 at 01:00
Aberdeenshire's brochure "Guidance in secondary Schools" has just been issued to all teachers in their employment, price 60p to others. As I am due to retire, I can say publicly what many colleagues have been saying privately. A more wonderful example of Parkinson's Law and the circumlocution office I have yet to see.

Of course, like the Common Market, we know that the proposals are to be implemented anyway, at great cost to the public purse. But why wrap it up? It's jobs for the boys - a way for lots of people to get beyond the minimum scale. And it may be for the boys, not the girls. There is no mention of equal shares for women.

* The talk by Principal Joseph Dunning, of Napier College, Edinburgh, to Scots headmasters at St Andrews was significant. While he asked the heads to pay more attention to what is offered by FE colleges of his kind, he did not make claims for university title or status: in fact he proudly emphasised the difference, and boasted of what his college could do for some university dropouts.

* The Central Committee on English have published their fourth bulletin, dealing this time with the later stages of the secondary school. The bulletin is critical of the way teachers have allowed exam papers to dictate their classroom work.

Private reading, it is emphasised, should start with material the pupils actually read, and the teacher should build on that by guiding rather than nagging.

* Letter from W.A. Armstrong, headteacher, Penicuik High School: At a recent conference I was surprised and saddened to see that it had been felt necessary to supply copies of the TES Scotland free of charge to members attending. TESS in contradistinction to the prissier press, has always recognised our worth without begrudging the comparatively moderate cost of paying for it (5p).

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