Callendar Park College of Education
The College had its origin in the teacher shortages of the 1960s in Scoland. To avoid overcrowding at the older city-based colleges, such as Moray House, the government funded three additional colleges of education.
These were: Callendar Park near Falkirk and Craigie in Ayr opened in 1964, with Hamilton following in 1966.
The subsequent restrictions on the number of teacher training places in the late 1970s led to Callendar Park’s closure and merger with Moray House in 1981.
About the College
In 1963 the Scottish Council for the Training of Teachers recommended that a new college of education be built in Stirlingshire. Following government approval the decision was taken to build the college in what was the walled garden of Callendar House in the Lands of Callendar on the outskirts of Falkirk. The intention was that the college should be ready for its first students within twelve months and on the 2 October 1964 170 students enrolled at Callendar Park College of Education.
The flat roofed buildings were similar in architectural style to those developed at the same time at Craigie College in Ayr and Dunfermline College in Edinburgh. The accommodation comprised three teaching blocks, a library block, administrative accommodation and communal and recreational facilities. Included in the teaching blocks were specialist facilities: gymnasia, studios and laboratories, and there was also a dedicated TV studio. There were two halls of residence providing single occupancy study bedrooms for 200 students.
With the College specialising in the education and training of teachers for primary schools it did more than fill a temporary need in teacher supply. Close professional working relationships were developed between the college and schools in the local region and support was given both locally and nationally to the contemporary and often urgent problems of primary education.
As the need for primary teachers grew in the late 1960’s, the college’s capacity was expanded from its original 600 to 900 students. This expansion called for additions to the existing classrooms, laboratories and library. In particular, a lecture theatre was added to meet both academic and dramatic needs and a Games Hall was opened in 1974.
The College Board of Studies was composed of members of the teaching staff. The function of the Board was to advise and assist the College Principal in the co-ordination of studies, the maintenance of academic/professional standards, the discipline of the College, and all matters affecting the progress of students.
In 1974 there were nine teaching departments:
- Educational Studies
- Physical Education
- Religious Education
- Social Studies
- Virtual Arts
Callendar Park specialised in courses for primary teaching. For student teachers there were three pre-service courses leading to the award of a Teaching Qualification:
- Primary Diploma Course
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Primary)
- Bachelor of Education (Primary) Degree (in conjunction with Stirling University)
The college also offered a programme of award-bearing Inservice courses for qualified teachers including: Associateships in Early Education and upper Primary Education, and Special Qualifications in Infant, Nursery and Remedial Education.
More information about the college courses can be found in the following document.
The Closure of the College
The exceptional growth in enrolments in all colleges of education in the 1960s and early 1970s was followed by an equally abrupt fall in the government’s forecasts for the number of student teachers enrolled. For Callendar Park this meant a reduction in the student population to approximately 300 full-time students by 1978.
Nevertheless, the government’s review: ‘Teacher Training from 1977 Onwards’, ended with a firm assurance on the future of the College’s place within the system. The plan was for some 400 full-time students at the campus with the excess accommodation being adapted for use by the Forth Valley Health Board in 1980 to provide a base for a College of Nursing and Midwifery.
During 1977 the staff and students of the college had mounted a campaign to save Callendar from closure: “not merely for those of us who now enjoy the chance to work together, but for the sake of our successors and for the sake of what the College can continue to give to the educational world beyond our gates.” (Charles E Brown, Principal)
Local and national campaigns were organised in support of the retention of all ten colleges of education. Political support proved crucial and this led to the government backing down from closing any college of education at this time. Documents from Callendar Park’s campaign are lodged in the Moray House Archive.
However, this situation proved to be short-lived. With the return of a Conservative government in 1979 previous plans for college closures were revisited and within one month of Margaret Thatcher’s entry to Downing Street the threat of college of education closures was revived.
In the end the government introduced Regulations that led to the closure of Callendar Park in 1981 with its rights and obligations transferred to Moray House College of Education. Moray House initially ran the site as an annexe. However, the 1981 Regulations had also stipulated that Moray House could not incur any costs at the site after September 1982. Consequently students and some 25 academic staff were transferred to Edinburgh, the former completing their studies at Moray House’s Holyrood Campus.
Despite various attempts to find alternative uses for the Callendar Park buildings Moray House sold the site and buildings in 1987 to the then Central Region Council, with the proceeds paid to the Scottish Office. The buildings were eventually demolished. It was ironic that in the year before closure the government spent over £1m on completely refurbishing the flat-roofed buildings of Callendar Park.
During its 17 years Callendar Park College of Education had three Principals:
- Mrs Elizabeth C F Leggat MA DipEd 1964-1969
- Charles E Brown MSc MEd 1970-1978
- Thomas H H Rae MA MEd 1979-1981
On 27th November, 1964, the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, granted Armorial Bearings to the College. The badge, in the form of a shield, is described in the Letters Patent:
Per pale, dexter, Argent two torches saltireways Sable enflamed Proper, and in chief an open book also Proper, binding and fore-edges Gules; sinister, per bend Sable and Azure, on a bend Or between three billets of the last in chief and a bear’s head couped Argent, muzzled Gules in base, three gillyflowers also of the Fifth, seeded Vert; over all a pallet dovetailed, per pale, dexter Gules, sinister Argent.
The Open Book and Flaming Torches show the College to be a Scottish College of Education. The other half of the shield depicts the Arms of Callendar of that Ilk, the Livingstones and the Forbes, the previous owners of the lands of Callendar.
The above information about Callendar Park College of Education was provided by Dr David Jenkins, Former Vice Principal of Callendar Park and Former Registrar of Moray House, April 2006