A Week in Education

11th July 2008 at 01:00
The Government has rejected calls to inspect the inspectors

The Government has rejected calls to inspect the inspectors. But Maureen Watt, the Schools Minister, told Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP, that she would "keep an open mind" on a review of school inspections, a demand made by Educational Institute of Scotland delegates at their annual conference last month. Ms Watt said independent surveys showed that 87 per cent of teachers rated inspections "very good" or "good" in terms of helpfulness to their school, and 98 per cent of parents found them helpful.

Every primary teacher is trained to cover the whole curriculum, including physical education, Maureen Watt, the Schools Minister, said. She was responding to Labour's ongoing attempts to pursue the SNP over its election pledge that it would deploy specialist PE teachers to give pupils two hours a week. Ms Watt added that 600 teachers had enrolled on the specialist PE diploma course, that there were 1,756 qualified PE teachers in secondary schools, the fifth largest in any subject.

Aberdeen University and Highland colleges are creating a course to combat the shortage of Gaelic teachers. The first joint honours degree in Gaelic with Education will allow students to study at the Sabhal Mor Ostaig College on Skye and Lews Castle College in Stornoway, with the education component delivered via online distance learning by the university. Meanwhile, the retiring registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland is to take up a post as professor of Gaelic education at the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute. Matthew MacIver will step down from his chairmanship of Bord na Gaidhlig to do so.

Next Thursday is the deadline for pupils to register online if they want to receive exam results by email and text, says the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Sign up for MySQA at www.sqa.org.uk before 5pm.

The inspectorate has found that children in the Stirling Council area are well protected, but there was room for improvement in the leadership of chief officers and senior managers. Of the 18 indicators of quality, the HMIE-led team gave child protection services one evaluation of "very good", eight of "good", eight of "satisfactory" and one of "weak".

In a failure reminiscent of the crisis at the Scottish Qualifications Authority in 2000, Sats test results for a million 11 and 14 year-olds in England have been delayed because of "technical issues". An inquiry, headed by Lord Sutherland, the former head of the Ofsted inspectorate and also principal of Edinburgh University, will investigate the reasons for the delays, which centre on marking.

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