News at a glance

Minister urged to take action on recruitment crisis

A "fundamentally dysfunctional" recruitment system in schools is jeopardising pupils' learning, the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) warned this week. In a strongly worded letter to education secretary Mike Russell, the SPTC voiced concerns about councils struggling to hire teachers at the same time as newly qualified staff were unable to find permanent jobs. Executive director Eileen Prior said the lack of cover in some areas was so dire that schools were avoiding sending children home only "by a whisker". She urged the minister to take further action to ensure that children's education was not significantly hampered by recruitment problems.

Schools prepare for chorus of verse in Book Week

Live poetry readings by internationally renowned poets will be streamed into every nursery and primary school in Scotland as part of the third national celebration of books and reading. Award-winning British bard Roger McGough (pictured) and Jamaican poet Valerie Bloom will take part in a live broadcast from the BBC in Glasgow to children around the country during Book Week Scotland (24-30 November). The programme, run by the Scottish Book Trust, also includes a range of resources to help schools to foster a positive reading culture. For more information, visit

English university to offer Scottish teacher training

The first Scottish teacher training course based outside the country has been approved by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Students completing a PGCE top-up course at the University of Northampton's School of Education will be qualified to work north of the border after the programme was accredited by the GTCS. Announcing the "landmark" move, the independent regulatory body said the university's high standard of teaching and resources was providing "a real service" to teachers hoping to work in Scottish schools.

New scheme helps at-risk pupils to turn a corner

The educational experience of Glasgow's most vulnerable preschool children is being improved by a new initiative designed to aid their emotional and linguistic development. The "nurture corners" - through which separate spaces and additional support have been provided in nurseries since 2011 - have also boosted children's confidence and social skills, according to a report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and the University of Stirling. The research explores the effect of Glasgow project, which is designed to help children who struggle to play and learn with others. Read the full report at bit.lyNurtureCorners

Edinburgh College principal steps down

The principal of Edinburgh College has announced that she will be stepping down from her post at the end of this academic year. Mandy Exley, who was appointed shortly before the college was created through merger in October 2012, said the time was right to move on and "use her skills in a new venture". Ms Exley was nominated for FE leader of the year at this year's TES FE Awards. However, her time at Edinburgh College was not without its controversies, which included the implementation of significant budget cuts and strike action by teaching staff. The college plans to appoint a new principal in time for the next academic session.

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