CHAPTER 11

 

Education

 

THE SENIOR LEAVING Certificate Exam in vogue for over sixty years was in 1950 renamed the Scottish Leaving Certificate and the old system of a pass mark in a group of subjects was no longer compulsory for the award of a certificate; more candidates sat the exam and they were allowed, in their sixth year, to add subjects to passes already obtained. Hence, by 1960 when the High School roll numbered 577 and the prize-giving ceremony was transferred to the Playhouse Cinema because there was no room in the hall, thirty-seven certificates were awarded and seventeen pupils gained additional subjects. It was soon obvious that the two new classrooms opened in 1958 could not contain the increasing intakes resulting from the post-war 'bulge' and by 1959 plans for extra accommodation on a far bigger scale were being voiced abroad. Already, a medical centre had been added which could be used for dental treatment, physiotherapy or first aid, playing fields were extended and visits of architects and buildings sub-committee men to the High School were becoming more frequent. The 1960s were to witness fundamental changes in educational development (some die-hards could only deplore the deluge that ensued!) and so far-reaching were the reforms envisaged that all the schools in the burgh were to be transformed and a completely new one built south of Tweed's stream.

First, a new Scottish Certificate of Education was introduced in 1961 with provisions for Ordinary Grades (IVth year), Higher (Vth year) and Advanced, although the latter, as Sixth Year Studies, were not examined until 1968. More subjects were available, modern studies (i.e. twentieth-century history, geography, economics and politics) at '0' Grade appeared in 1962 and Higher papers were set for 1968 by which time a new SCE Examination Board had taken over the award of certificates from the Scottish Education Department. Examinations, at

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