The TESS Archive - 6 December 1991

The month Pan Am ceased operations, and Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union, anticipating the dissolution of the 73- year-old state

Forsyth tested on primary plans

Michael Forsyth's credentials as an icon-toppling Education Minister are being tested as Kenneth Clarke, England's Education Secretary, attacks established practices, especially in primary schools. Labour education spokesman Tony Worthington congratulated Mr Forsyth for not "blindly following" bids to privatise the inspectorate or publish league tables of primary tests. Mr Clarke wants a return to more traditional methods, doing more whole-class teaching and less topic work.

Blackie's bows out

A brave face is being put on the future of education publishing following the break-up of Blackie's, the oldest independent firm north of the border. The school book list has been sold to Thomas Nelson, which is expected to continue it and to employ Blackie editorial team. Blackie's has been in existence in Glasgow since 1809.

PE success

PE is "the success story of contemporary Scottish education", an HMI told the Scottish Sports Council. Ben Fryer said the subject had been transformed by Standard grade - which will have 12,000 candidates this year - and Scottish Vocational Education Council modules, and had come in from education's margins. It had a firm place in the national exams framework and had opened up employment prospects in sport.

Apologies for hours mistake

The Education Minister has apologised to a teachers' union. The 5-14 working paper on reporting, which unveiled the new report card for parents, had implied teachers worked no more than 35 hours a week, to the consternation of the NASUWT. Michael Forsyth's office has now regretted the "lack of clarity" in the suggestion that planned activities and parents' evenings were not part of the working week.

Islands look to heritage

Shetland's education committee is expected to sanction a pound;75,000 grant to buy and restore a 1900 "fifie" class herring lugger, the Swan, that is now languishing in Hartlepool harbour in North East England. Education director Robin Barnes said that returning the Swan to its home waters represented an opportunity to restore a unique part of Shetland's maritime heritage.

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