News at a glance

Hamilton teacher removed from GTCS register

A maths and chemistry teacher of 20 years' standing has been removed from the General Teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) register after convictions for a series of criminal offences. Douglas McDougall, of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, was disqualified from driving for four years in 2004 after being found unfit to drive through drink or drugs and failing to provide a breath sample. In 2012, he was disqualified for another four years after driving at more than twice the legal limit. In 2013, he also received a conviction for verbally abusing two members of an ambulance crew attending an emergency. The GTCS fitness to teach panel heard that no concerns had been raised about Mr McDougall's teaching or conduct. But it noted that he had also been convicted in 2006 of breach of the peace and police assault, and stated that the public would lose confidence in the GTCS if he remained on the teaching register.

Advice body puts ASN pupils on the map

Parents of children with additional support needs (ASN) can now benefit from an online "map of provision" that allows them to pinpoint exactly what services are available in their area. Prompted by the government's 2012 Doran report on ASN, the map has been put together by Enquire, the national advice body for additional needs. It covers the whole of Scotland and features 20 different categories and 1,000 services. "Parents are often bewildered by the new world they find themselves in when they have a child or young adult with additional support needs," said Teresa Catto, who founded the online parent support forum Autism in Scotland. She added that a central information point would be "incredibly useful". For more information, visit

Referendum resources offer ongoing life lessons

A series of new teaching materials has been created by researchers exploring public attitudes towards the independence referendum. The resources are aimed at secondary pupils and address young people's political views on the referendum and politics in general. Topics include analysis of polls and the usefulness of online sources in finding information. To request a copy, visit bit.lyIndyrefLessons

Scottish system is a mixed bag, finds OECD report

An international report on education systems has revealed a mixed picture in Scotland. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Education at a Glance 2014 shows that Scotland's teachers are highly qualified and finds strength in early years and tertiary education. But salaries are not keeping pace internationally, class sizes are rising and workload is high. General secretary of the EIS teaching union Larry Flanagan warned that without "determined action to address these issues" there was a danger of "future crisis" in the profession. View the report at www.oecd.orgedueag.htm

Take a trip into Scotland's constitutional past

With the referendum less than a week away, Newbattle Abbey College is tomorrow inviting visitors to take a free tour as part of Doors Open Day. Scotland's constitutional past will be explored through the abbey's 900-year history, which includes links to the Declaration of Arbroath. According to some sources, the 1320 document making the case for Scottish independence may have been drafted where the college now stands.

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