What school governors are doing, 2nd July 1929

Dundee school

Picture from The Dundee Evening Telegraph.

Not a huge amount, it would seem.

The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports that the Education Committee has recommended the re-appointment of five aldermen, five councillors and three plain “Mr”s to the Bpard of Governors of the Old Grammar School and the Northampton Town and County School. One of the councillors complained that there ought to be more Labour members on the Board. Labour makes up a third of councillors but only has one person on the Board. This was voted on but the motion was not carried.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph reports that the Board of Governors of Rotherham Grammar have met and appointed a new assistant master.

The Londonderry Sentinel reports on the Foyle College sports’ day, with tribute being paid to the chair of the Board of Governors. His wife gave a speech and was presented with a book, The Friendly Road. This was a 1913 travel-and-homespun-wisdom book by David Grayson:

Mr. Grayson sets out to earn his way on a three-weeks’ spring tramp along country roads. His eyes are open to the beauties of nature and he welcomes heartily every chance to know and serve whomever he meets in a homely, friendly way, thereby coming into many delightful and unexpected experiences, which he relates with his own cheerful philosophy.

Sounds terrible. I also found this description, which makes it sound slightly more readable:

Written in first person, pseudo autobiographical style, the “author” of The Friendly Road, David Grayson, is a writer, living on a farm with cows to milk, and ducks and pigs to feed, and fields in need of plowing. One day he just slings a few belongings in a pack and walks off, leaving the cows unmilked and his sister Harriet standing in the doorway. “My sober friend”, Grayson writes, “have you ever tried to do anything that the world at large considers not quite sensible, not quite sane? Try it!” The rest of the book is an odd mixture of nostalgia for a gentler, kinder age; adventures, as Grayson relies on the charity of strangers to get by; with a bit of progressive politics thrown in. After bumming for several days, Grayson arrives in the “City,” where a strike is in progress. He sympathizes with the workers, but he is appalled by “the ill-smelling streets and dirty sidewalks and swarming human beings . . . the evidences of poverty, dirt, and ignorance.” And guess what? He returns home to his farm, and Harriet bakes him a rhubarb pie.

The Liverpool Echo reports on the 81st birthday of Edward Griffith, JP and for many years a member of a school board and various education committees: “A North Wales Worthy”.

The Mid Sussex Times reports on the annual conference of the Association of Education Committees, held in Blackpool. The Vicar of Blackpool gave a speech saying that in 1927/28 there were 5,664,618 children in elementary schools and only 377,540 children in grant-funded secondary schools. In small schools, especially rural ones, children over eleven are taught all together, which is not good for them. He recommends that education authorities remove children over 11 from small schools and educate them together. He knows that parochialism means that schools want to retain children, instead of acting in children’s best interest. He says also that the curriculum should be decided by individual schools, as they know what works for their children. Talking about religion in schools, the vicar said “We are all tired of shams – shams in religion, shams in education, shams in politics. We want reality”. The Conference expressed its rejection of sectarian religious teaching in local authority schools.

The school in the picture was Logie Secondary School. It became redundant as a school, partly I think due to slum clearance, was damaged by fire in 2001 and demolished for safety reasons, although it was a listed building. Here is the local authority’s account of it:

In 1923 it was decided to build a new school and Logie Central School opened in 1929, designed by Charles Soutar, of McLaren, Soutar and Salmond. It was hexagonal in plan, 3 storeys high, and with a central hall dividing the inner courtyard into two enclosed playgrounds. Its frontage was of regular large 24-pane windows, with cement rendered brick in between. The main entrance and other features were clad in artificial stone, whilst stone from the poorhouse was reused elsewhere. The focal point was a copper clad clocktower with a pagoda roof. The school was surrounded by playgrounds, which were separated by railings and retaining walls. It operated as Logie School until 1976, then continued as an Annexe to Harris Academy until 1998. It was destroyed by fire on 13 March 2001 and demolished in May 2001.

There is a picture of the surviving bronze plaques from the entrance to the school here. There are now two primary schools and a nursery school on the site.

I found this account of Logie Central School, by then called Logie Secondary School, in 1974:

my own experiences as Head Teacher at Logie Secondary School in Dundee, commonly known as the Pen or the Penitentiary (or Colditz) brought home to me in stark terms the cancer at the heart of Scottish education that Mackenzie wanted to expose and eradicate – the senseless drilling and regimentation of children, the exposure to flagrant and excessive use of the belt and verbal castigation, the curbing of their spirit, the stunting of their imagination, the stigmatising of their personalities – being seen in most teachers’ eyes as “no-hopers” and “no-gooders”- and the subjection of the vast majority of the pupils to the rituals of a system thrilled to certification by exams – Logie, the school I became Head Teacher of in late 1971, dramatically encapsulated all that Mackenzie fought tooth and nail during his professional life to bring an end to.

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