Fyfe (1946)

1946 Fyfe Report (text)

The Fyfe Report (1946)
Training of Teachers
A Report of the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland

Edinburgh: His Majesty's Stationery Office 1946
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

Background notes

Historical context

In The Advisory Council on Education in Scotland 1920-1961, his 1986 doctoral thesis for Edinburgh University, John Young argues that

The Advisory Council was modelled on the Consultative Committee to the Board of Education in England, to act in an advisory capacity to the central Department. Unlike the Consultative Committee, however, the Advisory Council was generally unable to shake itself free from the close supervision of the central Department, producing notable reports on two occasions only, once soon after its establishment, and again at the end of the second World War, when the sixth Council produced four major reports. On both occasions, in the early 1920's and the late 1940's, the reports of the Council were highly regarded by the Scottish educational community, but were not adopted by the Department (Young 1986: abstract).
The Chair of the Council at the time of this report was Sir William Hamilton Fyfe (1878-1965).

Fyfe (pictured) had taught in several schools and had been Head of Christ's Hospital in Sussex. In 1930 he moved to Canada to take up the post of Principal at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, returning to the UK in 1936 to become Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, a post he held until he retired in 1948.

In his thesis, John Young notes that it was William McClelland who convened the Council and wrote the 1946 report (Young 1986:9). It is therefore sometimes referred to as 'the McClelland Report'. McClelland, a former Professor of Education at St Andrew's University, was Executive Officer of the National Committee for the Training of Teachers.

The Council's recommendations

In the Summary of Recommendations, the members of the Council point out that Chapters I and II of the report deal with 'the setting of the problem of teacher training and the essentials in the preparation of teachers of general subjects for primary schools'. They conclude that 'the special professional preparation, apart from academic studies, cannot be adequately covered in less than two years of full-time study'. These Chapters 'contain so many suggestions and recommendations that they cannot advantageously be condensed into a summary' (page 66).

Chapters V to XII and Appendices II and III contain recommendations concerning the courses which should be provided.

The Council then lists 57 recommendations drawn from the remaining chapters of the report (pages 67-71).

The report online

The complete text of the 1946 Fyfe Report is presented in a single web page.

I have corrected a handful of printing errors and modernised some of the punctuation. Otherwise the text shown here is as in the original printed version.

I am grateful to website visitor Andrina for alerting me to the existence of both this report and John Young's thesis.

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 28 December 2018.