25 Years ago

24th January 1997 at 00:00
An interview with Sir Henry Wood on his retirement as principal of Jordanhill College pointed out that almost a third of today's Scottish teachers had received their qualifications under him.

During his 23 years as principal of what is still believed to be the biggest teacher training college in Europe, some 30,000 students were involved in training courses of one sort or another, and most of them emerged with qualifications to teach. The student population has almost doubled, and the college has added buildings which should almost quadruple its size.

Yet Sir Henry suggests the outlook for the Scottish colleges of education is not all that cheerful. Rapid expansion could not last: "We've been in a seller's market for 15 years and have been very generously treated, and obviously if we don't need so many teachers the Treasury is going to put the financial screws on the Department. But there is a danger of clamping down too soon: the forecasts in the past have not always turned out right, and the only time when there are enough teachers is when there is a recession in industry" * There is now a breakdown of consensus on education, said Mr Malcolm MacKenzie, lecturer in education at Glasgow University, when giving the first in a series of six lectures arranged by the extra-mural department to mark the centenary of the 1872 Act.

Expansion, long justified on the grounds that education was a good thing, was being challenged. Society was no longer convinced that investment in education was always profitable, or that it broke down social divisions.

* Stirlingshire janitors responsible for banking school money are to travel by taxi unless they have their own cars. Where they are banking more than Pounds 200 they will be escorted, usually by assistant janitors. They have complained about the risk.


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