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In 1972, this journal published opposing views of the state of education in the period running up to the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act. J.C Myers painted a pessimistic picture of the national system based on the parish school and dominie whereas Donald Withrington presented a positive assessment of the contribution of non-parish schools. Both focused on the tradition fostered by the Reformation, especially by the 1696 Act of Settling Schools. Neither paid much attention to the schooling of girls or of the growing migrant Catholic community, yet reformers saw the former as vital for social stability and the latter a threat to national harmony. This survey of factors leading up to the 1872 Act will consider both within the context of the educational tradition, focusing on the schooling of the poor which was central to concerns that an ill- or even un-educated population was undermining the established order.

Open Access
In: Scottish Educational Review