Past TimesEd

7th February 2003 at 00:00

February 4, 1927

IN England, where headmistresses largely make the characters of their schools, we have had in the past two types of girls' school, corresponding to two types of headmistress: those who march ahead and those who push behind. In the forefront of the "march ahead" have been many inspiring personalities such as Miss Beale, of Cheltenham, of whom we are told that even her duller pupils felt the "uplift" which she represented.The "push behinds" of the modern school have a more intricate task, and their main difficulty is in the selection and management of staff.


February 6, 1953

A CAUSE celebre like the recent trial of Craig and Bentley inevitably focuses pubic attention on the social evils of juvenile delinquency and semi-literacy.

Indiscipline in school and carelessness about the basic skills are alleged and offered as explanations of the growth of juvenile crime or as justifications for the risky judgments of successful men of affairs about the state of the nation's youth. The schools will not wish to shirk their share of responsibility, but they will not be made scapegoats either. One thing that is firmly established about the causes of delinquency is their complexity.


February 3, 1978

MRS Thatcher has stirred up the trouble she no doubt intended by her remarks on immigration. Some of that trouble will be in the schools, where the frustrations of young blacks and Asians quickly reflect the level of racial anxiety in the community at large.

Mrs Thatcher has an odd knack of being on the ungenerous and illiberal side of most arguments. Now she has made election propaganda out of the race issue. She knows that without breaking promises she cannot stop the immigration of dependants. But that does not stop her from whipping up public feeling and pandering to ignoble prejudice.

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