Poverty gap teaching appeal
- Fresh calls have been made for financial incentives to attract the most talented teachers in Scotland to schools serving deprived communities. The demand came after it emerged Scotland has come bottom of a new international league table that records the gap between the reading skills of the cleverest pupils from affluent and deprived areas.
Violinist `furious' at music provision
- Violinist Nicola Benedetti has attacked the lack of music provision in schools. She said: "I'm furious about the provision of music in schools. So many people up and down the country are trying to create a better foundation for musical education. But decisions have been made, especially in the light of funding cuts, that are, I think, catastrophic to our future as a nation."
Half of gay pupils endure homophobic bullying
- More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils in Scottish secondary schools experience homophobic bullying, according to a Stonewall Scotland study. It also found that a quarter (26 per cent) of them have attempted to take their own life, while more than half (54 per cent) deliberately harm themselves. Less than a third (31 per cent) said that their school responds quickly to homophobic bullying behaviour.
Students from overseas to face entry interview
- More than 10,000 overseas students who apply for visas to study in Britain are to face compulsory interviews as part of a new UK Border Agency drive to filter out abuse. UKBA staff are to be given a new power to refuse entry to any overseas students whose credibility remains in doubt after being interviewed.
Family of four `needs pound;37k to maintain standards'
- A couple with two children would have to earn pound;36,800 to achieve a socially acceptable standard of living, a report claims. The study, by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, finds that the "minimum income" required in 2012 is a third higher in real terms than 2008 because of spiralling childcare and transport costs.