75 years ago

14th March 2003 at 00:00
75 years ago. March 10, 1928

Mr Lloyd Dumas, the London representative of important Australian newspapers, maintains that in the "List of books, maps, music, and diagrams approved for use in schools maintained by the London County Council, five out of seven books in use are of a character that must inevitably give the children the impression that Australia is "inhospitable and unprogressive".

He rightly feels that some action should be taken to "revise and correct the teaching regarding Australia in schools in England," and adds, "further examinations may indicate similar cause for concern regarding the geography and history of other Dominions as they are taught in English schools".

50 years ago.

March 13, 1953

Whatever one's opinion of the "seemliness" of slacks may be, it is to be regretted that the head mistress of a Warrington school has not been upheld by the appeals committee at Liverpool in her right to determine that these are not suitable garments for her girls while at school. It may be argued that they are practical, even elegant, and almost everywhere countenanced, but that is largely beside the point. A headmistress is responsible for the discipline and manners of her school, and clothes have always been judged to have a bearing on this: some degree of uniformity and standard of respectability are desirable... It is preposterous when a bench of lawyers parades before a head mistress as the arbiter elegantiae within her school.

25 years ago

March 10, 1978

Hard on the heels of school closures caused by snow or by lack of heating oil come more interruptions to children's schooling. This time it is the teachers. True, the action being taken by the NUT this week and threatened by the NAS next week in support of their pay claim does not amount to refusing to teach children, and actual school closures are only an indirect consequence. But it does amount to making life more complicated, disagreeable and exhausting for children and their families as for colleagues who are not taking action. And for what? The claim is to go to arbitration anyway.

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