A week in education

4th January 2008 at 00:00
Matthew Maciver, chief executive and registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, has been made a Commander of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours list.

He stepped up to his current post in 2001 having been depute registrar (education) since 1998. Prior to joining the GTCS, he was headteacher of The Royal High in Edinburgh, having previously been head of Fortrose Academy.

Another CBE went to Seona Reid, head of the Glasgow School of Art.

Among the OBEs are John Wilson, director of education in East Renfrewshire; Sue Pinder, principal of James Watt College; Patricia Kennedy, headteacher of St Mark's Primary in Barrhead; and Joan Fenton, retired head of Dyce Primary in Aberdeen (and former TESS columnist).

MBEs were awarded to Janet McCauslan, assistant principal of Carnegie College; and John O'Dowd, education quality improvement officer in North Lanarkshire.

The top gong, a knighthood, was given to Tim O'Shea, principal of Edinburgh University.

The owners of social networking and file-sharing websites have been challenged to exercise proper editorial control of inappropriate or offensive material posted by pupils to humiliate and bully teachers and other pupils.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: "Self-regulation, backed up by more formal codes of pratice, has long been the standard in the newspaper and publishing industry. When a newspaper publishes an article or photograph, it is accountable for doing so.

"It is surely appropriate for internet sites, many of which are viewed by many millions of users, to adopt a similar approach to their own editorial standards."

Workplace learning has received a pound;1.4 million boost from Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, as part of a drive by the Scottish Government and the STUC to improve the country's skills base. This year's tranche of a three-year package will allocate pound;800,000 to the Scottish Union Learning Fund and around pound;600,000 to the STUC skills and lifelong learning team.

The leader of the Educational Institute of Scotland has written to all Scotland's directors of education asking them to commit themselves to class-size cuts.

Ronnie Smith warned that the new concordat funding agreement between local and national government could lead to inequality of provision across Scotland in relation to class sizes and other areas of educational provision.

"We cannot risk a piecemeal approach which would create a lottery on class sizes," he said. "Why should a young child in one part of the country be placed in a class of 25, while a few miles down the road, children are being educated in classes of 18?"

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