The TESS Archive - March 27, 1981

25th March 2011 at 00:00
The month US President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington DC hotel by John Hinckley Jr, and the first London marathon took place with 7,500 runners

`Suicidal' salaries under attack

The education service is so unsuited to the needs of this century that it presents a greater threat to the future of the country than an obsolete navy or an ill-equipped army, said Robert McClement, general secretary of the National Association of SchoolmastersUnion of Women Teachers (Scotland). Teachers' salaries had been seriously unsatisfactory for more than 50 years, he said; underinvestment in education was "prolonged national suicide".

Defend rights of least able

A senior children's panel reporter, Russell Meek, feared the education system was in danger of becoming a "monster" at the expense of the least able pupils. There was a very hard fight ahead to keep guidance and special education staff, he said. Forfar Academy's William Bedborough said guidance teachers were being gradually accepted; slighting references - "All the guidance teachers in the world laid end to end wouldn't reach a conclusion" - were no longer there.

Stopp supports parents' rights

Teachers are not acting in loco parentis when administering the belt, according to two Scottish cases brought before the European Commission, said Ian Bayne of the Society Opposed to Physical Punishment in Scotland (Stopp). "The Educational Institute of Scotland is particularly at fault for insidiously implying that most Scottish parents are not really responsible enough to be trusted with this kind of pretty basic educational decision," he said.

When beatings had to stop

A study by the Independent Schools Information Service, ever anxious to dispel the Victorian image of public schools, reveals that the horrid Flashman, nightmare of Tom Brown's schooldays, lives no more. Caning may have been phased out at half the independent schools in Britain, it shows. But pupils at independent schools remain toffs, according to the study: nearly three-quarters of those surveyed came out of the top two socio- economic drawers.

Doors open on open-plan system

Inadequacies of training and selecting staff for open-plan teaching and the lack of discussion between users and architects - which leads to the perpetuation of design faults - are the most serious obstacles to the success of the open-plan system, said Neville Bennett of Lancaster University. He told the Stow Society at Jordanhill College that open plan was the system of the future, for economic, if not educational, reasons.

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