curiosity about the ways of the world

Tag: Broughton High School

Schools ahead of their time – and ours

What will the future bring? Children at my sons’ primary school down the road had bright ideas nearly twenty-five years ago. 

“…a robot teacher in every classroom, ‘see-through’ classrooms made of glass, blackboards rubbed clean at the touch of a switch and electronically operated toilets.”

The school of the future hasn’t turned out quite as pupils imagined in 1996 though ‘see-through classrooms and electronically operated toilets’ could come in handy to combat Covid-19.  The centenary book my sons and I helped to produce turned up in a lockdown study clear-out. A bit of a museum piece, Broughton Primary 100 casts not always favourable light on the present.  

Writing this for Sceptical Scot’s last issue before the holiday break, I was struck by a cruel irony we had never anticipated at the parent-teacher-pupil editorial meetings 25 years ago: the school of the future would have much in common with the school of the past.  In the late 19th century medical officers of health were acutely aware of the links between ill health, mortality and poverty.  That harsh reality reinforced again by the latest National Register of Scotland report of deaths involving Covid-19:

“People in the most deprived areas were 2.1 times more likely to die with COVID-19 than those living in the least deprived areas.”

National Register of Scotland July 2020

A crucial difference between then and now – in the 1890s local medical officers of health had the power to take pre-emptive action where and when it was needed. 

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