A week in education
Geography teachers are spreading their wings, according to HMIE. Its latest report this week, a portrait of the subject in secondary schools, notes that, until recently, there has been very little evidence of geography departments working in collaboration with other departments. However, partly as a result of heightened public awareness of the threat of global environmental issues, more geography teachers are now taking greater interest in school-wide activities, such as those involving Eco-Schools Scotland.
Members of the union Unite who work for the Educational Institute of Scotland have voted to take strike action in a pay dispute. The EIS has offered its office staff a five-year deal of less than 3 per cent a year in the first three years which, Unite complains, is less than the current inflation rate of 4.1 per cent. It, therefore, amounts to a wage cut, they say.
Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop has moved to close the loophole which meant that 2,457 postgraduate students would not have been able to pay off their deferred graduate endowment fee by loan. Emergency regulations will be rushed through parliament before the end of the summer recess, allowing them to come into force on June 30. The students will not now have to make repayments, in cash or by loan, until they have completed their studies.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats believe they have caught out the SNP Government on science spending, after revealing that Glasgow Science Centre is to have its budget slashed by 40 per cent over the next three years. The news comes five months after the Education Secretary hailed its "bright future" and in the week when the latest official survey of 5-14 year olds found they performed poorly in science tests at school (p6).
The former education spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Ewan Aitken, is to step down as leader of the Labour group on Edinburgh City Council, where he was previously convener for children and families, after taking up a post as secretary to the Church of Scotland's church and society council. He will remain a city councillor.