News at a glance

Teacher struck off after drinking with student

A teacher who went out drinking with a pupil and invited the boy to stay at his house has been banned from the profession. Damian Etherington, who taught history and modern studies at an unnamed Scottish secondary, was found unfit to teach after admitting to texting the pupil and inviting him for a drink at a pub in May 2012. Mr Etherington also admitted to inviting the boy to his flat to continue drinking and stay the night. The teacher denied grooming the boy for sex, however, and was cleared of all allegations of sexual misconduct. The General Teaching Council for Scotland's fitness to teach panel ruled that Mr Etherington could not apply to rejoin the register for two years.

Teachers get new tool to fight FGM

A new resource has been created to assist school leaders in helping teachers protect girls at risk of female genital mutilation. The PowerPoint presentation has been produced by Education Scotland with input from councils across the country, and aims to help headteachers raise awareness in schools of the risks of FGM, which is classed as child abuse under UK law. For more information, visit bit.lyFGMResource

Keep university free, say young Scots

Scottish teenagers are more supportive of free university tuition than their peers in the north of England, according to research from the University of Edinburgh. Feedback from 148 young people suggests that, overall, teenagers are also becoming more focused on the job prospects provided by a degree rather than education for its own sake. English pupils questioned high tuition fees but accepted the principle of a student contribution, whereas young Scots mostly backed free tuition. A number of Scottish and English students felt that tuition fees might deter people from poorer backgrounds. Understanding of student finance was generally poor, the research found, and was worst among younger Scottish pupils.

Government to fund new apprenticeship schemes

An extra pound;4.5 million is being invested in trialling new apprenticeships aimed at making Scotland's young people more employable. Angela Constance, cabinet secretary for training, youth and women's employment, announced this week that the funding would pay for pilots of new apprenticeship schemes allowing teenagers to start training while they were still at school. Projects will also focus on university graduates in a bid to boost links between the education sector and business. The initiatives were among a series of proposals recommended by the Wood Commission, an expert group set up by ministers to find ways of developing Scotland's young workforce.

Council's merger aims to tackle poverty

Renfrewshire councillors were due to rule yesterday on a proposal to merge the authority's education and social work departments. The move was part of plans to tackle poverty, the council said, and to comply with new legislation affecting how education, health, criminal justice and social work services were delivered.

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