Ton-up paragon

3rd October 1997 at 01:00
They are used to big schools in East Renfrewshire. Never mind the anticipated mega-primary in Newton Mearns (page four), they have been there before.

Mearns primary is one of the oldest in Scotland, venerable enough to have got a mention in the Statistical Account of Scotland in 1842. "The school room is one of the largest and airiest in the west of Scotland where 103 pupils are taught Latin, Geography, Arithmetic, English, Grammar, Reading and Writing by its very able and excellent teacher."

For handling a ratio of 1:103, the chap's excellence was rewarded with a salary of Pounds 34 4s. "This fellow was up against it," observed John Wilson, East Renfrewshire's quality supremo. Today's teachers don't know they are living.

It is not recorded whether this paragon managed to soldier on until 1878. If he had, he would have experienced a breakthrough as the school roll fell to 90. But stagnation then set in and by 1922 the Labour candidate in the area was campaigning to get class sizes below 90.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today