The tess archive - 4 December 1981

The month Arthur Scargill became president-elect of the National Union of Mineworkers, and Muhammad Ali lost to Trevor Berbick in what proved to be his last fight

FE lecturers in secondaries

The Scottish Education Department wants FE lecturers to be able to teach in secondaries, to cope with vocational courses the Government is planning as alternatives to O and H grades for 16-18s. The suggestion will stir a hornet's nest, especially among unions, about the value of different teaching qualifications and the extent to which they can be blurred. At present only secondary-trained teachers can teach secondary pupils.

Closure will test new regulations

Dumfries and Galloway is poised to become the first region to test the new Education Act's provisions for school closures by again raising the proposed closure of St Andrew's RC Primary, Dumfries. Under the Act, local authorities have greater freedom over school closures and in general can proceed without the Secretary of State's permission.

Caution for `criminal' applicants

The General Teaching Council will decide on the best means of preventing those with criminal records from entering teaching. Instead of asking applicants whether they have previous convictions (expectations of truthful answers were not high), those applying for training, registration with the GTC, and for a job with a local authority, will be cautioned that they will be dismissed if they fail to disclose convictions.

Epileptics still barred

The GTC has reaffirmed its policy of refusing registration to anyone who has had an epileptic fit within the previous two years. The council accepted advisers' conclusion that epileptic teachers could put pupils' safety at risk and that behavioural changes could occur before and after a fit. The council's stance was attacked as "inequitable" by Dr Peter McSorley, consultant physician at Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary.

Playing fields may be sold off

Some schools face having parts of their playing fields sold off by the local authority at a profit, Mr Neil Macfarlane, Minister for Sport, has said. He denied this amounted to a reduction in school sports facilities. Mr Macfarlane told the Central Council for Physical Education's annual conference in Bournemouth that falling rolls made it imperative to look again at playing areas.

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