Press Catch-Up

Cycle proficiency fears


- Moves to shift cycle proficiency training from playgrounds onto roads are facing resistance from teachers worried about a lack of volunteer helpers, a Government report has found. Low levels of bike ownership in deprived areas have also been identified as an obstacle to encouraging training, according to research commissioned by Transport Scotland. Only a fifth of primary schools offer on-road cycle training.

Doubts over free schools


- Doubts have grown over the success of Sweden's free schools. SNS, a prominent business-funded think-tank, issued a report that sharply reversed its normal pro-market stance. The entry of private operators into state-funded education, it argued, had increased segregation and may not have improved educational standards at all. In the UK, 24 free schools built on the Swedish model have opened this year.

Knife crime - at age of 7


- Schoolchildren as young as seven are taking knives and other weapons into the classroom, according to new research by the Centre for Social Justice. It claims a climate of fear is gripping pupils at some of Britain's poorest schools. Meanwhile, Scottish Government statistics have shown that only one in 10 youngsters charged with possessing a weapon is convicted of a crime.

Fife girl in the swim


- A Fife girl has represented Great Britain at the third World Deaf Swimming Championships in Portugal. Auchmuty High pupil Lucy Walkup, 14, from Glenrothes Swimming Club, travelled to Coimbra for the event, which saw her team finish seventh. In each event Lucy competed in, she set personal best times.

Call for females in STEM


- The Institution of Engineering and Technology claims Scotland's economy could receive a massive boost if more females took up roles in the male- dominated industries of science, technology, engineering and maths. In Scotland, just 20 per cent of workers in Stem jobs are women. Additionally, almost three-quarters of women who train or study for a Stem career end up not working in the field.

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