Film charts history of special education

Cast and crew of History Boys and Girls were joined by past and present teachers and pupils for the premiere at Summerlee Musuem of Industrial Life last week to look back on 50 years of special needs education.
Cast and crew of History Boys and Girls were joined by past and present teachers and pupils for the premiere at Summerlee Musuem of Industrial Life last week to look back on 50 years of special needs education.
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Pupils from Firpark Secondary have been involved in the making of a film looking at the history of special needs education in North Lanarkshire.

History Boys and Girls debuted at Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life last week as stories from former pupils and teachers showed how much has changed in the past 50 years.

Focusing on the lives of Knowetop and Drumpark schools, the film was researched and produced by pupils at modern-day equivalent Firpark and Buchanan High, supported by ENABLE Scotland and The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Project coordinator Chloe Lafferty said: “Pupils from Firpark and Buchanan spent the past few months tracing and interviewing former teachers and pupils and it’s really good to see the finished product finally hitting the screen.

“They’ve worked extremely hard to get the film competed and have produced something that shows how difficult it was to get a proper education 50 years ago, and how things have changed.

“It’s a great achievement.”

The film shows how education for people who have additional needs has moved on from the mid-60s when they weren’t even entitled to the education every other child received.

It was only in the 70s that the education act made that possible, and the film charts some of the changes that took place.

Richard Cartwright, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “We want our funds to help protect and enhance our heritage and the History Boys and Girls certainly does that.

“It’s a powerful reminder of how much our education system has changed for people who have disabilities.”