From the archive: Child potato harvesters - 21 September, 1950

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Controversy over the refusal of Glasgow school teachers to participate in the gathering of the potato harvest was the subject of a statement issued yesterday by the local branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

Figures given by the Corporation Education Committee show that 2,600 children in 36 schools have asked for exemption to take part in potato lifting, and 32 teachers have volunteered to supervise. The statement said that for many years the EIS had encouraged its members to co-operate with the Ministry of Agriculture in harvesting the potato crop, but this year the Glasgow teachers, at their annual meeting, decided not to participate, and accordingly the EIS gave a positive direction to the teachers of Scotland not to volunteer as supervisors of the child harvesters. The EIS had always opposed the use of children in the potato fields because of interruptions to their education.