THE NEWS that a media studies qualification is to be introduced for secondary teachers, available as an initial teaching qualification in conjunction with another subject or as an additional qualification for serving teachers, will be met with relief by many. The General Teaching Council has established the need for such a qualification and in a recent survey, education authorities showed overwhelming support for this development.
I would like to add the Association for Media Education in Scotland (AMES) to the list of those who have worked tirelessly to achieve this recognition.
The growth in media education in Scotland has been an amazing grassroots development. Courses and materials were worked on by individual teachers and groups throughout Scotland. This collective effort of hundreds of media educators was entirely voluntary. They gave up their evenings, weekends and holidays.
Their motivation was a commitment to the belief that our young people are entitled to an education which would enable them to engage more effectively with that which was becoming an increasingly significant part of their lives.
AMES was founded in 1983 to facilitate this development and has consistently lobbied the GTC for subject recognition. With the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum and the Scottish Film Council (now Scottish Screen) AMES has been crucial to the progress of the initiative.
The association seeks to promote the continuity of the subject within different but related sectors of education, and across the curriculum. Relying on the commitment of its volunteers, AMES publishes a journal, curriculum packs and support materials; organises conferences; provides in-service support and acts as a consultancy.
AMES members will feel a certain relief that the subject now has the recognition it deserves.
Mandy Powell, Convener, Association for Media Education in Scotland, Madeira Place, Edinburgh.