A week in education

7th September 2007 at 01:00
Back-to-school anxiety is not just worrying the kids: parents get stressed out by it as well. According to a parents' social network group, Rhysko.com, there has been a surge in online forum discussions about the worries it causes. Anxiety includes whether their children will integrate or their ability to cope with increased academic expectations. Some parents admit that their own unhappy experiences at school are awoken by their children's return to the classroom.

The teacher induction scheme is rated highly by headteachers and experienced teachers who support the probationers. Research by the General Teaching Council for Scotland reveals more than 90 per cent of both groups endorse the way the scheme operates. But the time allocated to new teachers gets a less confident response: only 76 per cent of supporters and 69 per cent of heads agreed that the split of three and a half days for teaching and one and a half days for professional development was the right balance. It was felt by some to be too rigid and that some probationers would benefit from more class contact later in the year. The study was based on responses from 826 heads and 1,168 teacher supporters.

Enquire, the advice and information service for learning needs, has launched a new guide for adults on how to involve young people requiring additional support in decisions made about them. Aimed at parents and carers as well as education professionals, it ranges widely from whole-school matters to decisions on personal learning and support.

Pupils were reminded this week of the benefits to be gained from taking advantage of the Government's concessionary travel scheme. All 16-18 year olds are entitled to a third off single bus fares, a third off rail travel and, if they live on an island, two free return journeys to the mainland each year. Stewart Steven-son, the Minister for Transport, highlighted the benefits when he visited Dumfries and Galloway and praised the fact that pupils at Castle Douglas High have a near 100 per cent take-up of cut-price travel (95 per cent).

The Scottish Govern-ment has announced a fresh round of projects to help overseas students stay on to live and work in Scotland. Around pound;200,000 will go to 13 colleges and universities to support international students as they come to the end of their studies.

There is unsatisfactory variation in the way community learning and development is provided in different education authorities, according to a five-year review published this week by HMIE. But the inspectors also conclude that the service, which has its roots in youth work and adult education, is helping key target groups to have a voice and re-engage with learning.

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