The Tess Archive - 3 April 1981

1st April 2011 at 01:00
The month IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, and Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with Making Your Mind Up

Devolution must be political

- Administrative devolution without legislative devolution is almost meaningless, EIS general secretary John Pollock told the National Convention for a Scottish Assembly. Scottish people would give education higher priority than elsewhere in the UK, he said, speaking as vice-chair of the STUC, but they were not permitted to do so. He attacked London- based media for their handling of Scottish education, particularly the BBC, "who have elevated chauvinism to an art form".

Stopp stands by allegations

- The Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment (Stopp) this week stood by allegations that two handicapped Glasgow children had been belted. They have written to the Secretary of State, urging him to give handicapped children "the same protection from legalised physical assault as convicted adult criminals". Stopp's national education secretary, Tom Scott, said it was investigating allegations that children in wheelchairs had been belted.

Popularity of assisted places

- The Commons committee considering the Scottish Education Bill had an impassioned debate on the assisted places scheme, which was variously described as odious, elitist and an extension of individual freedom. Ministers had been unable to produce the name of a single reputable educational organisation in Scotland which supported it, said opposition MPs. But Education Minister Alex Fletcher said it had wide public support - particularly from teachers.

Segregation splits radicals and `wets'

- The education debate at the Scottish Liberal Party conference at Galashiels became a battle about how far to go in getting rid of segregated schools. A motion was carried by a small majority calling for a Royal Commission to examine ways to reduce divisions between schools. Councillor Robert Brown said progress was possible following experiments in shared facilities.

Paper a day for secondary pupils

- With Italy having one of the lowest reading rates in Europe, the city of Rome has passed a law calling for daily reading of papers in the secondary curriculum. About two-thirds of schools are adopting the policy, but others say teachers are ill-equipped to teach the necessary skills.

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