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The need for Vocational Education, c 1942

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/24

Scope and Contents

Thomson stresses the need for more investment and energy to be put into vocational education, looking to America as an example.

He emphasises the imbalance of educational investment between the average student versus the above average or the mentally impaired student, arguing that all 3 should receive the same investment, though the methods and curriculum may be different. He proposes the creation of secondary schools equipped for vocational training and apprenticeship, staffed by individuals trained in a trade, but also as teachers, to replace the current evening or day release classes. He gives examples from Germany and Britain of close liaison and co-operation between industry and educators, and cites the Air Training Corps and scheme of National Certificates as existing British foundations to build upon.

Thomson argues that whatever education a student receives, it should be grounded in reality and their interests, and thus prepare them for work. He emphasises the need for career guidance for students and good methods of selection into trades, pleading the case that students' abilities and talents be considered throughout their school career rather than from a single test. He also stresses the need for information and individual tests to be made freely available in a centralised place to better facilitate students going into professions and vocations suited to their abilities and interests.


  • Creation: c 1942


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

During war-time, the school leaving age was 14. It rose to 15 immediately after the war.


1 typescript : 13 pp

Physical Location


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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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