Selkirk rocked by battle of the sermons

26th September 1997 at 01:00
Selkirk High has been in bad odour with HMI which was none too happy to discover that "the school continues to emphasise the right of pupils to choose subjects freely". Whatever next?

Rector George Jack is not taking this lying down, telling the local paper that the Inspectorate is inflexible. Procedures must be appropriate to Selkirk, Jack declares. "It doesn't matter to me if they are not appropriate anywhere else, as long as they work here."

Among "unbalanced" elements in the Selkirk curriculum, apparently, is religious education. The school provides 55 minutes a week and HMI wants this upped to 82.

Jack comments: "Where are we to find this extra time for what is a non-examination subject. Should we just take it off maths? I don't think parents would be too pleased."

No Selkirk grace there.

David Stewart, Jack's predecessor, has stepped into the row with the help of a long memory. In a letter to the Southern Reporter, he recalls a conversation with a former district inspector who was making a farewell visit before he retired.

"You don't really think, do you, that I believed or agreed with all that stuff I passed on to you?" he is alleged to have told Stewart, who muses: "How many of today's inspectors feel the same way?" HMIs should be put on five-year contracts to keep them in touch with reality, he suggests.

Incidentally, Selkirk High was way out in front of Borders secondaries in the number of Higher passes last year and was the top performer for Standard grade Credit awards in 1995. Funny that.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now