The TESS archive - 6 November 1981
STUC education debate short on practical answers
"How the hell do we do it, Jimmy?" seemed an appropriate question put to Mr Jimmy Reid, former Upper Clyde Shipbuilders leader and now ubiquitous politician, writer, journalist and broadcaster. It came during an STUC conference on promoting the right to learn from cradle to grave for all citizens. Mr Reid had delivered an impassioned address long on evangelism but short on strategy.
Parental interest is lacking in subject choice
Deciding pupils' subject choices at the end of the second year of secondary discriminates against those whose parents take little or no interest. The choice offered overstresses certain subjects such as modern languages at the expense of others such as technical subjects. Mr Harry Ashmall, rector of Morrison's Academy, Crieff, makes these criticisms following a study he undertook among 247 pupils in Forfar Academy, his former school.
Belt report stresses role of heads in abolition
Heads are the key figures in any orderly phasing out of the belt in Scottish secondary schools, concludes the report of the inquiry by the Scottish Council for Research in Education. Another requirement for abolition is that teachers must be encouraged to see that regular reporting of indiscipline in classes will not be regarded as a reflection of professional failure.
The Bunter touch
Obese pupils have higher IQs than their thinner fellow pupils, according to American research. The obesity-intelligence link was an unexpected result of tests given to 20,137 children in a study aimed at discovering the cause of cerebral palsy. The researchers found that obese children had IQs averaging 10 points higher than lean children at age four.
Dismay over enlarged alphabet
Japan's Education Ministry has created controversy by adding 95 characters to the complicated Japanese alphabet taught to all pupils. This will bring the total number of ideographs to 1,945, and adds greatly to an already heavy burden imposed on Japanese pupils.