The month two-year-old James Bulger was abducted, tortured and murdered by two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, and a van bomb exploded at the north tower of the world Trade Center in New York, killing six and injuring over 1,000.
Battle over directors' remit
- Education directors could see their posts disappear if they lose a battle with Scotland's chief executives over their future role under the government's proposed system of single-tier local authorities. Education committees may also be at risk. A number of chief executives have made little secret of their irritation with directors of education, who are seen as too independent in the era of "corporate management".
Strathclyde heads for chaos over opt-outs
- The school closures and opt- out ballots that are embarrassing both Strathclyde and the government grew as Castlehill Primary in Ayr added its name to the list of schools where parents are ready to invoke the self-governing legislation. The region wants to close the 256-pupil school because of the extensive repairs needed, but parents want it to stay open.
GTC spurned in bid for new sanctions
- Local authorities have dismissed the General Teaching Council's plea for an increase in its disciplinary powers, which they believe would interfere with their rights as employers. A report to Cosla's education committee states bluntly: "There would be no benefit to the education service if the proposal to extend the GTC's disciplinary powers was to be implemented."
The vanishing bookworm
- French youth's increasingly lukewarm attitude to books is causing renewed anxiety among educationalists and intellectuals. A survey, carried out at the request of education and culture minister Jack Lang, has established that 15- to 28-year-olds spend less than an hour a day on all types of reading. Balzac is thought "long-winded" and only a third have read Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
Light in the apartheid tunnel
- The Alice in Wonderland world of the South African school system is scheduled at last for change, with the dismantling of the 18 education departments which oversaw apartheid schooling. President FW de Klerk announced the transition from race-based education to a single ministry as part of preparations for a non-racial government. The White Right is outraged and has threatened to sabotage the bid to end white control of education.