AS Hilary Roberts reminds us, "more than 50 per cent of young people go through higher education; more than 70 per cent graduate with a 2.1 degree" (“Helping the young get into the workplace”, Agenda, The Herald, January 31). I suppose it's the inevitable result of education's "all shall have prizes" ideology.

In my day in the early 1960s Glasgow University Union toilets always had a pile of spare paper towels with the logo added above them: "Social science degrees. Please take one." Sadly it should now read: "University degrees."

Rev Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place, St Andrews.

RECENT letters (January 29, 30 & 31) about the demise of the original High School of Glasgow reflected very well on the ethos of the school, of which I have many happy recollections.

The classless nature of the school as Donald MacKay remarked was always evident. The fees were modest and affordable by any responsible artisan. When I started in Lower Kindergarten in September 1937, the fees were a guinea (21 shillings) a term and when I left in 1949 they were five guineas (£5 5s) a term. Our parents were mechanics, tradesmen, doctors, ministers and business people. We all got on as well as any other group in society.

However, I would take issue with Mr MacKay regarding the political responsibility for the destruction of the three selective schools run under the aegis of the Glasgow Corporation education department. This department was run by Glasgow Corporation controlled by the Labour Party, the Lord Provost was Sir Meyer Galpern and this vandalism was on his watch.

As a good socialist, he endorsed his party diktat and authorised the closure of these great schools. As his final act in this sorry spectacle, he removed his two sons from the High School and enrolled them at Gordonstoun.

Peter D Christie,

Woodside, 2 Lomond Drive, Newton Mearns.

BRAVO, John Fyfe Anderson (Letters, January 31), for once again lamenting the tragic demise of Latin in Scottish schools. However, a word in support of VisitScotland's director is in order. While "innovative" is indeed derived from the Latin root meaning "new," it also embraces the wider nuances of fresh thinking and inspirational originality, not just replacement of the old and outdated. Ergo, "new" and "innovative" can be used together in describing the reborn tourism hub – without pleonasm (needless verbal repetition).

Incidentally, further to recent letters about Glasgow's old High School in Elmbank Street, another crucial ingredient in the school's success story was the polymathic, panoramic grasp of world culture possessed by its last rector, who, as well as being a director of Airdrieonians Football Club and a fine classical scholar, excelled also in Educational Theory and – can you believe it? – Japanese language and literature.

Stuart J Mitchell,

29 Windyedge Crescent, Glasgow.

JILL Stephenson’s letter (January 30) reminded me of the Monty Python sketch about what have the Romans ever done for the people, except for the roads, the sanitation, irrigation and so on.

Ms Stephenson asks what has the SNP done for Scotland’s education. Maybe she hasn’t heard of the pupil equity fund, which has delivered more that £120 million directly into the hands of headteachers with specific remit of raising attainment for children affected by poverty. The headteachers need to deliver activities which are in addition to those already planned and the responsibility and control lies with themselves.

To put this in context, the head teacher of St Thomas Aquinas, a secondary school near to me, will receive £174,000 to address these issues.

Apart from the money to reduce the poverty attainment gap what has the SNP done? It seems remiss not to mention such a huge initiative which is also counter to Ms Stephenson's argument as it is putting the power and the finance to make decisions directly into the local decision makers hands.

David Yule,

55 Whittingehame Drive, Glasgow.