Moray House School of Education and Sport

Douglas McIntosh

Dr Douglas McIntosh was Principal at Moray House College of Education from 1966 until 1974, during a period of major changes in the colleges of education.


Douglas McIntosh was born and raised in Dundee, attending secondary school at Harris Academy. He graduated from the University of St Andrews with a first class honours degree in Mathematics. He taught mathematics at Harris Academy for two years before taking a BEd at Edinburgh University. For his PhD thesis at St Andrews University he undertook an investigation into the methods of examination at the qualifying stage.

McIntosh's career in Fife

In 1938 he was appointed Assistant Director of Education in Fife and in 1944 he was promoted to the post of Director of Education. During his 22 years in this role he was involved in many initiatives and innovations.

He was associated with the establishment of Junior High Schools in Scotland. He took an interest in the education of gifted children and initiated a class for such pupils enabling them to attend secondary school a year earlier than normal. He also recognised the importance of the role of the head teacher.

He pioneered the use of closed circuit television for educational purposes in the classroom and introduced the first language laboratory in a British school. He was a supporter of the further education sector in Fife establishing six technical colleges across the region. He held strongly to the view that education should benefit every child.

McIntosh joins Moray House

In 1966 he became Principal at Moray House College of Education a post he held until his retirement in 1974. This was a period of major changes in the colleges of education. Student numbers doubled and he oversaw the final stage of implementation of the College’s major building programme.

Dr McIntosh’s interest in testing led to his editing a number of well received books for use by teachers. These built on the work of his original thesis and his publication: The Scaling of Teachers’ Marks and Estimates. He was of the view that teachers’ marks have an important role to play in the overall assessment process.

He worked with many national organisations, including: the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland; Committees of UNESCO; he was Vice Chairman of the SCE Examination Board and had an active involvement with the Trustee Savings Bank. His continuing interest with research led to him becoming President of the Scottish Council for Research in Education in 1960.

His contribution to Scottish education was recognised by the award of the CBE in 1961.

He died in 1998 at the age of 88.