Headmistress On Urgent School Problems
The Mayor and Mayoress (Cr. and Mrs. W. G. Hart) attended the Speech Day of Manorside Girl's Secondary Modern School, on Thursday evening, last week. The chair was taken by Cr. Miss E. M. Killip, chairman of Finchley Education Committee.
Among other guests were the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress (Cr. and Mrs. F. Gibson), the Education Officer (Mr. Dodd). Ald. and Mrs. Pike, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P. and members of the Education Committee.
Miss M. R. Millen, Manorside Girl's Headmistress, gave her report for the year 1959–60 and said:
“The realisation that this would be my fifth prizegiving at Manorside came as something of a shock, not altogether pleasant from my point of view, when I consider the speed with which those years have passed.
“The outstanding event of this year in the education world, was, I suppose the publication of the Crowther Report with its suggestions for the future of Secondary and further Education in this country.
“Certain aspects received a great deal of publicity, particularly the recommendations that the school-leaving age should shortly be raised to 16 and Day Continuation Classes in County Colleges should be introduced gradually for all who have left school until they reached the age of 18.
“I am concerned that in its pre-occupation with these two proposals, the County appears to be unaware of the more immediate and important problems facing schools now.
“Much as it may be considered desirable, both in the National and individual interest to lengthen, compulsorily, the school life of every boy and girl, that is a goal which I believe plans for the more distant future.
“The urgent and pressing difficulties of the moment are to provide in the school today additional staff and accommodation needed to bring about a reduction in the size of classes, and to cater for the ever-increasing numbers who are already voluntarily staying on until 16 or 17 in the Modern School and 18 in the Grammar School.
“When I first came to Manorside there were 10 to 12 girls in the 5th year. Today there are 33, and next year there will be 40.
“The success of a school depends on those who serve it. I have spoken of the contribution of the staff as a body. I must make some individual mentions.
“As far as examinations are concerned, we are well satisfied. Of the 21 girls in the fifth form, 11 offered from two to four subjects at General Certificate Level. Because of their Shorthand and Typewriting commitments they were unable to offer more, and out of the 36 subject entries there were 27 passes.
“In addition 21 sat for the Royal Society of Arts School Certificate.
“There were 124 subject entries, 108 passes, including 31 at credit level. Two girls received certificates for 3 subjects only and 18 obtained their full Certificate in 5, 6 or 7 subjects.
“Of these girls, one has gone to Kilburn for a year's advanced secretarial work, one for two year's further study for General Certificate, and two have entered Hendon Technical College for Commercial courses.
“Gillian Burden, one of our last year's GCE ‘Guinea Pigs’ who went to Hendon to train for nursing, has made Hendon Technical History by being their only trainee Nursing Student to be accepted by the London Hospital (where she starts training in January) since the Nursing Course at Hendon was first instituted.”
After distributing the prizes, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher gave an address and said: “We must be very proud to be associated with the school tonight. One thing impresses me tonight, that is the number of parents here” .
Mrs. Thatcher told the parents to give their girls some idea of house-hold budgeting and how to spend income.
“Early in their life, give them some ideas of the use of money to their advantage.”
Speaking to the pupils, she congratulated the ones who had won prizes.
“Please never be frightened of examinations. For examinations you do not need a wonderful brain, but a need for work.
“When you first go out into life, save up £100. Always remember this—if you are in any trouble with any government department always come and see me” .