A week in education

5th January 2007 at 00:00
A Glasgow headteacher was made a CBE in the New Year honours list. Mary McLaughlin, head of Notre Dame High since 1990, has been principal of the Notre Dame New Learning Community since 2002, influencing the education of children from pre-school onwards. Mrs McLaughlin is also a member of the programme board for A Curriculum for Excellence and won a BECTA award in 2005 for leadership of learning in secondary.

Highland education director Bruce Robertson, who moves next month to the equivalent role in Aberdeenshire, became an OBE, as did Tom Drake, interim chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, who hands over to the new chief executive, Janet Brown, next month.

OBEs also went to Mike Gibson, head of the support for learning division at the Scottish Executive, and Maureen Baker, head at Children's House Nursery in Edinburgh, while MBEs went to George McGrattan, principal teacher of computing at Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire, and Fiona Tunstall, clerical assistant at St Brigid's Primary, Glasgow.

Every pupil in Scotland will be entitled to a face-to-face meeting with a careers adviser under plans to refocus the work of the Careers Scotland service, the Scottish Executive has announced. Deputy Enterprise and Lifelong Minister Allan Wilson wants Careers Scotland to focus its work on providing career guidance to secondary pupils before they leave school and reduce the number of people considered Neet (not in education, employment or training).

Scottish Executive figures show that 1,298 teachers came from all over the world to teach here, with most coming from England, 551, followed by 120 Polish teachers. The largest single group, 363, was made up of primary teachers, followed by 99 English teachers. Fifty-three came to teach maths and another 12 to teach maths and numeracy. The executive hopes the influx will help it meet targets of reducing class sizes for S12 to 20 and increasing the number of teachers to 53,000 by the summer. There are 52,179 teachers in Scotland.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association has claimed that a drop in the Higher pass rate of pupils in Dumfries and Galloway is due to the authority's decision to replace subject principal teachers with faculty heads. David Eaglesham, general secretary, warned other authorities against going down the same road. "In 2000, 28 per cent of the previous year's S4 pupils attained the benchmark three or more Higher passes at level 6. In 2006, that fell to 21 per cent. This represents a 25 per cent fall off in examination performance. The linkage between results and subject PT post abolition needs urgent investigation." A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: "It is up to councils to determine the appropriate management structure that meets the needs of pupils, teachers and schools."

Headteachers in Aberdeen can post information on school closures due to poor weather, on the council's website. Information is automatically posted on the homepage which clears at 4pm daily to ensure it is up to date. The web service runs alongside the Aberdeen City Schools Infoline: 0870 054 1999; www.aberdeencity.gov.ukclosures

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