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Thread: Local high schools mentioned in "Daily Record" online today

  1. #21

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    You can read a lot into it, especially from the graph further up the thread. Scotland used to be well above the OECD average and on a par with England. England has dropped a bit, but is stilll well above the OECD average. Meanwhile, the other 3 countries of the UK have dropped sharply and are now on a par with the OECD average.

    Education needs to be "revolved" (in that its devolved status needs to be reversed) and should become a UK Matter again. This experiment on the devolution of education has obviously failed, and we need to stop playing politics with kids education, and restore it, at least back to the standard it was at, and close to the standard in England.

    But it needs to go further than that. England's standard has declined as well, and once education is a UK wide matter again, then the standards need to be driven up. Employers all over the UK are fed up with school leavers with poor literacy and numeracy skills (but a degree in something), who are ill prepared for the working environment, and who are unable to get through a full 60 second period without needing to check their social media.

    Caithness and Thurso need not feel guilty about where their school lies in the league table. This is a Scotland wide issue. Its perhaps no accident that the southern belt are well up in the league (though there are plenty of southern belt schools well down it as well). But it just goes to show how southern centric some policies are in Scotland.

  2. #22

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    As far as I’m aware, education has never been a UK wide matter. Scotland’s system was different from England’s system before devolution.

    Thurso’s place in the table is deeply worrying to me. Most/many other schools in such lowly positions are in deprived areas of the country where educational achievement has never been high. THS used to be at or near the top of the pile. Now it’s almost at the bottom. Why?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by orkneycadian View Post
    Education needs to be "revolved" (in that its devolved status needs to be reversed) and should become a UK Matter again. This experiment on the devolution of education has obviously failed, and we need to stop playing politics with kids education, and restore it, at least back to the standard it was at, and close to the standard in England.
    I know he is only trying to wind us up but I'm bored so here goes.

    How much do you have to hate your own country to prefer having another country run its education system? What is it about these BritNats? They think so little of their own country and the people who live and work here that they would rather hand over control of every aspect of our lives to another country to run.

    They say these things as though that other country was a paragon of virtue, a bright shining beacon of enlightened and informed government. Of course, as we all know from current experience they are a bunch of self-serving, mendacious, incompetents who have proved and continue to prove every day that they should not be trusted to run a whelk stall.

    More importantly, however, this suggestion of giving control of Scottish education back to Westminster would have serious implications for Scottish culture, heritage, customs and language. When I was at school doing my O-Grades and Highers I studied history. The only problem was, I wasn't taught any Scottish history at all. I was taught English history disguised as British history. During my entire history education at school, Scotland was barely mentioned at all whereas Wales and N. Ireland might as well not have existed. The syllabus was almost entirely about England. Can you imagine a situation where kids living in Southampton only get taught French history? No, of course not; it's ridiculous, yet that was basically my experience.

    This occurred prior to devolution at a time when Scottish education was run by the Scottish Office under the control of Westminster. In other words the SO presided over and approved a situation where the history of Scotland was not included in the history syllabus available, at my school at least. Where else in the world would that happen?

    So if, we allow our education system to be placed under Westminster control we might as well say goodbye to the notion of Scottishness for ever. That could be part of the plan, of course. Educate the Scottishness out of them as soon as they go to school. A couple of generations down the line and Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, The Covenanters; the Jacobites, Culloden etc, etc all disappear from our national consciousness. And don't think they wouldn't do it. They have form when it comes so social engineering on a grand scale as the history of the Ulster Scots shows.

    Scottish education needs to be run from Scotland. Simple as that.
    Last edited by Corky Smeek; 25-May-20 at 11:08. Reason: spelling

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by aqua View Post
    As far as Iím aware, education has never been a UK wide matter. Scotlandís system was different from Englandís system before devolution.

    Thursoís place in the table is deeply worrying to me. Most/many other schools in such lowly positions are in deprived areas of the country where educational achievement has never been high. THS used to be at or near the top of the pile. Now itís almost at the bottom. Why?
    Yup, you're right. I forgot about that! As someone who got O Grades and Highers, whilst England got O Levels and A levels, I should have minded on about that!

    So, areas like Caithness and Orkney are doing worse than they used to within Scotland. Orkney used to be pretty much up there with the top ones in Scotland if I mind right (not doing the best on the minding this morning.....). On top of that, Scotland is doing worse than England.

    A potential remedy must be to look back to how we in Scotland did it 10 or more years ago, both to redress the imbalance between North and South, as well as how we have slipped relative to England. The more I hear about it, this Curriculum for Excellence is not a good thing.

  5. #25

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    I suspect the CfE is not the cause of THS’s long slide down the table. There are more likely to be local educational, economic or sociological causes. All in my personal opinion of course.

    I find it sad, whatever the causes.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    335

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    I couldn't find any data about spending per pupil. Does anybody know if spending on schools in Caithness, is as generous as in some other parts of Scotland?

    I currently live in the central belt and some local high schools which were built in the 1960s (some built in the 1970s) have been or are going to be replaced in the next few years. Wick got a new high school a few years ago, but I haven't seen any suggestion that Thurso should get a new high school, from memory it was mostly built in the late 1950s. I haven't been in it for many years, is it still in good condition? Are there any plans to replace Thurso High School?

  7. #27

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    I don't think its so much the age of the building, more what you do inside it. The former Kirkwall Grammar School was likely built in 1800 and something, and ceased to be used as a school in about 1975. Its still in use to this day as the council offices and is a fine building.

    Meanwhile, the school that opened in 1975 or thereabouts was demolished about 5 years ago, as it apparently "simply was not good enough for modern schooling" - A shame as it was only 40 years old. But yet, managed to produce very highly attaining pupils in national league tables.

    The "new" Kirkwall Grammar school was opened in 2014. A new build, so should be churning out pupils at the top of the national league. But whats that? It isn't? KGS is slipping down the league table? How can that be? It has the most modern school building that Orkney could want for. Surely that means that attainment should be high?

    Nope, I am afraid there's more to schooling than having a modern building.

    No doubt in another 35 years, or less, this one will be condemned by teachers as "not being fit for purpose", just like the last one. Will be odd that the only building that remains fit for purpose is the one built in the 19th century.

  8. #28

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    THS was higher in the table last year, while WHS was a tad lower:

    182 Thurso High School, Highland (32)
    305 Wick High School, Highland (20)

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...edinburgh/amp/

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    335

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    Quote Originally Posted by aqua View Post
    THS was higher in the table last year, while WHS was a tad lower:

    182 Thurso High School, Highland (32)
    305 Wick High School, Highland (20)

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...edinburgh/amp/
    That's much better. There seems to be quite a fluctuation between years, if one year the percentage of pupils attaining five higher passes at THS is 32% and the next year it is 22%. Looking at the league table, increasing the percentage of pupils attaining five higher passes by a few percent can give a school a much better placing in the table.

  10. #30

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    Yes, yearly fluctuations can be large. Some schools’ percentages went up (or down) even more than THS’s between years.

    I recall seeing the table about a decade ago, and IIRC THS was placed higher than last year, but I don’t remember how much higher.
    Last edited by aqua; 04-Jun-20 at 11:00.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Smeek View Post
    Schadenfreude is an unfortunate trait at the best of times but this obsession with finding ways to make Scots feels bad about their country really needs to end. To find some statistics that you feel shows the country in a bad light and then joyously publish them on a web forum really takes a particular kind of twisted thinking. I cannot think of another country in the world where such a sizeable proportion of the population constantly seek to demean the country of their birth and actually seem to want it to fail.

    The implication in both of the BritNat-in-Chief's previous posts is that he wants devolution to end and all power to be restored to Westminster. The mere prospect of every aspect of our lives being in the hands of that incompetent bunch doesn't bear thinking about. Evidence from recent events should be a warning to us all that they couldn't run a raffle.
    The official line from the SNP is that they want us to follow rules and regulations from outside the UK, specifically Brussels. I do agree however that to point out the failure of the SNP flagship policy of Curriculum for Excellence is underhanded and political point scoring of the lowest kind. We should place the blame where it truly belongs...

    In the meantime we should celebrate success - Andy Murray and the 1990 grand slam in rugby! We gave the world haggis, Irn Bru, RunRig and Rabbie Burns - whaes like us?

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottishWalrus View Post
    We should place the blame where it truly belongs
    And that is.......?

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