25 Years Ago

31st January 1997 at 00:00
The discovery of oilfields under the North Sea may be one of the most important events in Scotland's industrial history, and it has come at a time when Scottish industry is desperately in need of new stimulus. If there is to be major industrial change, then education - particularly further and higher education - is going to be affected.

Even the most elementary question - can there be a Scottish oil industry manned by Scots? - is one for education to answer. That, and all the associated questions about careers, needs to be explored fairly quickly. And it will do education no harm to have the kind of big questions it likes, about quality of life, wealth and spiritual satisfaction, put in terms more immediate and concrete.

* There is no justification in the primary school for the teaching of formal language study (or grammar) nor is there any need, says "The teaching of English language", Bulletin 5 from the Central Committee on English.

This is an example of the fairly dogmatic approach and the sometimes questionable style of argument adopted by the committee in dismissing the old dogmatisms.

* Teachers in further education have sent a petition to the Secretary of State for Scotland expressing dissatisfaction with the arrangements for negotiating salaries. The system by which these are negotiated jointly with those of teachers in day schools operates to the detriment of further education. The petition attracted 1,017 signatures and was sponsored by the Scottish Further Education Association.

* Bargarran primary is the first of a series being built by Renfrewshire which will force staffs to evolve some form of team teaching. Planned to take the usual two-stream quota of teachers and pupils (now reckoned at 35 for each half-year group) the school rejects the traditional line-up of 14 separate boxes, one for each teacher.


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