Education

long last, were held more sensibly in May, the number of candidates doubled and many pupils remained at school for four instead of three years in order to sit their '0' Grades, with further chances to qualify by attending evening classes catering for vocational studies as well as recreational. Several alternative syllabuses were introduced for science, mathematics, classics, modern languages, home economics and technical subjects, all of which meant extra staff and more room.

Rebuilding the High School began in earnest on 20 May 1963: the Rector, who had been ill for three months in 1962, forthwith experienced a relapse and did not return to duty until the end of August. He soldiered on until February 1965 when the death of his wife exacerbated his own ill-health and he retired prematurely in his mid-fifties - a poignant passing of an acknowledged academic who was perhaps unsuited to the hurly-burly of life in the 'swinging sixties'! Happily, he was spared the formidable tasks of tackling the traumas that lay ahead.

One man who took everything in his stride was Charles Blacklaw, MA, who commenced duty as headmaster of Peebles Public School in August 1960. A university prize-winner of the early 1930s, a realist who knew at first-hand what life was all about, he had served as a naval officer for several years during the Second World War and became Broughton Secondary School headmaster in the 1940s before being transferred to West Linton and ultimately Kingsland. A serious student of education, Mr Blacklaw felt compelled to accept a more comprehensive remit than most educationalists and distributed his undoubted talents over a wide field. Thousands would testify to his skills as a headmaster, hundreds remember his deft handling of problems concerning teachers for whom he acted as spokesman on innumerable occasions culminating in his election to the highest professional position - President of the Educational Institute of Scotland. Even that honour could not contain the capacity for involvement of Charles Blacklaw, FEIS, who was also chairman of the Teaching Council which ensured that only qualified teachers could be employed by the Education Authorities throughout Scotland.

Throughout the 1960s Mr Blacklaw busied himself with the endless aspects of education which confront a progressive headmaster in and out of school. He kept up Kingsland's connection with the BBC whose programme pamphlets - pupils' and teachers' notes - were used

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