A week in education

14th September 2007 at 01:00
Drug education will be central to the Scottish Government's plans for tackling misuse. But it is unclear whether the SNP administration intends to fulfil its manifesto pledge to spend pound;10 million on it. A spokeswoman said no commitment would be made until after the comprehensive spending review later this year. Fergus Ewing, the minister for community safety, has announced plans to develop new approaches to delivering effective drug education to children and teachers.

Almost half of Scotland's university buildings are in poor condition, and it would cost nearly pound;0.7 billion to bring them up to a good standard. Auditors found that the condition of buildings was improving, with more money going into their development and upkeep. But universities, the Scottish Funding Council and the Government need to tackle a "growing maintenance backlog", of which almost 70 per cent is in the universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Dundee. A report by Audit Scotland assessed almost 1,000 non-residential buildings, worth almost pound;5 billion, in 21 institutions across 72 sites.

Learning and Teaching Scotland is revamping its advisory council into a model which includes pupils and parents as well as teachers and educationists. The large body which LTS considers too bureaucratic will be replaced by a core group of 12. However, it wants to widen the body's scope by making its members contactable online by anyone who wishes to contribute.

Aberdeen City Council is considering whether to close some schools with falling rolls. Many are under-occupied and rolls are expected to fall further, according to the council. A spokesman said: "This could be addressed through reviewing our school estate. It could mean closures or amalgamations but equally could mean using empty school space to provide other services." He stressed that decisions remained some distance away, and would come only after consultation on two "major strategy documents" looking at services for children, young adults and vulnerable adults.

An independent inquiry is to take place after a depute head of a Dun-dee primary was suspended, following a newspaper's publication of allegations that pupils had attacked teachers. Action was taken against Linda Ross of Sidlaw View after her husband, Vic, highlighted concerns about indiscipline and violence.

Pupils in the Stirling area who eat healthily could be rewarded with iPods. A scheme will enable them to earn points for eating nutritious meals, and check their running totals on a website. Points can be exchanged for rewards that include snowboard lessons, Amazon vouchers and cinema tickets. All secondary schools in the authority are taking part, except PPP school Balfron High, which has private caterers.

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