News at a glance

Paperwork plea is falling on deaf ears, finds EIS

Further action is needed to cut bureaucracy in schools, a survey by the EIS teaching union has suggested. The survey of EIS representatives found that a report on tackling bureaucracy - published by the Curriculum for Excellence working group - had been distributed to all staff at the majority of schools. However, only 26 per cent of representatives said the recommendations had influenced their school's annual school improvement plans. Negotiations about working time agreements were influenced by the report in just under half of cases. EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said the results made clear "that there is a great deal of work still to be done to deliver the recommendations of the report in schools across Scotland".

Defeated councillor quits over school dispute

Moray Council leader Allan Wright has announced his resignation after campaigners won a five-year moratorium on school closures in the area. Councillors agreed to keep rural schools open earlier this week and also decided that none of Moray's eight secondaries should shut. Campaigners fought passionately to keep their local schools open after a review suggested that Milne's High in Fochabers and up to 10 primaries could close. Mr Wright said the councillors' decisions had made his position untenable.

Referendum `crowded out' debate on education

The Scottish government has been accused of "ducking the challenge" of carrying out radical education reform, leaving the country trailing behind the rest of the world. In a new booklet entitled First Class, Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson says that the referendum has crowded out debate on other areas of policy, and that imbalance now has to be righted, particularly in the field of education. Despite the government having full control over education, she writes, "all too rarely do we hear a vigorous and passionate debate about the direction of their policy." Education secretary Michael Russell took to Twitter to criticise the comments.

New scheme promotes countryside careers

Almost 1,000 primary schools have downloaded teaching resources encouraging children to consider careers in the Scottish countryside. The Routes to Rural Employment scheme was launched four months ago to give primaries curriculum-led information packs on jobs such as farming, bee-keeping and becoming a vet. The programme, spearheaded by the Scottish Countryside Alliance, is set to expand over the next five years to include secondary students and school-leavers, who could be offered work experience and mentoring. For more information, visit

Consultation extended for Shetland closures

Shetland Island Council has extended the consultation period for proposals to close the secondary phases of two island schools. The plans could mean the closure of the secondaries at Whalsay School and Mid Yell Junior High School. This would in turn mean that children from those islands would have to attend secondary school in Lerwick as weekly boarders. Consultation on the proposals will now close on 12 December.

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