A Week in Education

25th April 2008 at 01:00
The controversial former director of education in Aberdeenshire, Sohail Faruqi, has bounced back into public service as a "change manager" with Aberdeen City Council
The controversial former director of education in Aberdeenshire, Sohail Faruqi, has bounced back into public service as a "change manager" with Aberdeen City Council.

Mr Faruqi, who left his previous job in unexplained circumstances with a reputed pay-off of pound;90,000, will be responsible for helping to transform council services in Aberdeen, which is facing a cash crisis and an Accounts Commission inquiry. His post carries a salary in the pound;27,714 to pound;30,084 range. A council spokesman said: "Mr Faruqi was deemed to be the best candidate for the job from a pool of applicants."

A retired teacher has lost his claim at an employment tribunal that he suffered disability discrimination because he was bald. James Campbell, formerly an art teacher at Denny High, argued that the teasing he suffered made it impossible for him to do his job. But the tribunal accepted Falkirk Council's case that baldness was not a physical or mental impairment in the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Mr Campbell, 61, is still pursuing a claim for constructive and unfair dismissal against the council.

The future for Scotland's only 5-14 schools grew increasingly bleak last week as the Western Isles Council agreed to close another two S1S2 departments of Sgoil nan Loch on Lewis and Paible on North Uist. Two primaries will also close. The council has already confirmed the closure of two two-year secondaries, Bayble and Daliburgh, and three more will now come under review.

A parliamentary motion on teachers' right to anonymity until they have been convicted of allegations made against them has been tabled by MSP Lord George Foulkes. He called for a review of current practices, after teachers' careers have been damaged by publicity over what proved false accusations.

It follows support for change from Kathleen Marshall, Commissioner for Children and Young People, who suggested children were losing out because "meaningful relationships with adults, including teachers, are undermined by fear and suspicion".

A website to help under-12s keep safe online went live on Monday. East Renfrewshire's child protection committee designed www.havefunstaysafe.info with the help of pupils from Barrhead primary schools.

A warning that obesity messages for children may backfire came from the leader of the team which surveys health behaviour in pupils. At the launch of the latest report last week, Candace Currie of Moray House said it was a "sensitive area".

The study of 6,400 pupils found 40 per cent of girls and 25 per cent of boys felt too fat. There had been a 50 per cent increase in dieting among boys since 1990.

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