Education, Page 3 - Kibble, A Lasting Legacy. Residential, secure, education, fostering, social enterprise, training for young people and youths.



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Some of the most important of these changes were heralded by the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act of 1932, which abolished the distinction between Reformatory and Industrial Schools in an attempt to remove stigmatisation. In addition, the Act transferred administration of the schools from the Home Office to the SED, thereby finally terminating the association between Reformatory/Industrial Schools and the prisons system and formally strengthening links with the education system.

Increased specialisation and professionalisation within the system, as well as greater curricular diversity, are evident in minutes of the Approved Schools Association meetings. The association adopted the principle of employing specialist teaching staff for Music, Art, and hobbies etc. in 1946, as well as proposing that each school should engage specialist teachers to address the higher proportion of illiterate/semi-literate children admitted to Approved Schools.

(Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Association, 1930-1950, Minutes of Meetings, 1946 Minutes)

Mock up of a writing lesson

Mock up of a writing lesson

This mock up photo was taken at Scotland Street School Museum, and features members of Kibble staff and Kibble pupils.

The trend towards staff specialization was reinforced when, by 1948, the Association was recommending specialist training of teachers for the Approved Schools service.(Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Association, 1930-1950, Minutes of Meetings, May 1948 Minutes)

This process took another step forward in 1950 when Approved Schools teachers’ lack of parity with their mainstream counterparts was a topic of discussion. In fact, a delegation from the Association met with SED representatives in November 1950 and expressed a strong feeling that there should be parity with regard to holidays and sick leave.

(Reformatory and Industrial Schools’ Association, 1930-1950, Minutes of Meetings, 1950 Minutes)

These developments gained further impetus when courses were arranged at Jordanhill Training College (now part of Strathclyde University) in Glasgow for some instructors and matrons in 1951.

(Approved Schools Association Minutes 1951-1961, May 1951 Minutes)

The process was ongoing, with Jordanhill proposing a teachers’ training course to commence in Autumn 1953 (Approved Schools Association Minutes 1951-1961, March 1953 Minutes), as well as a headmasters’ course to take place in September 1954 (Approved Schools Association Minutes 1951-1961, January 1954 Minutes), and a refresher course for heads of Scottish Approved Schools to take place in London in September of the same year (Approved Schools Association Minutes 1951-1961, May 1953 Minutes).

Education at Kibble, present day

Education at Kibble, present day

School pupils learning in a classroom at Kibble, present day.

Education: Kibble in the later twentieth century

Despite these proposals and developments, Kibble’s education system operated very much on a primary school model well into the 1980s, as some of our oral history interviewees recall. Jean Logan, for example, who first came to Kibble as a residential social worker in 1986 told us that the boys had lessons from 9am till 4pm at that time. The day was split, with traditional academic subjects taught for half of the day and practical classes, such as joinery, painting, mechanics and bricklaying, for the other half. However, one teacher would be responsible for all of the academic subjects in each class, such as Maths, History and Geography, in one classroom; this was in keeping with the primary school model. Jean believes that there were some positive aspects to this:

‘…they built up a better relationship with the teacher because that was the one teacher they got all the time…and it was the one style of learning they got all the time. So the one teacher had their way of teaching…so they were getting consistency of the one person always doing it the same way, which was quite good as well.’

(Jean Logan, Interviewed 8th March 2006)

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