A week in education
Members of the three unions representing local government employees, including non-teaching staff in schools and council offices, are being balloted on the latest management pay offer. Although it has been increased to 3 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent for 2009, the leaders of Unison, GMB and Unite are recommending their members reject it because inflation is around 5 per cent. The employers have said they will remove the offer if it is rejected. The ballot closes on November 12.
The Scottish schools intranet, Glow, has received a major accolade from the "trade", taking first place in the Learning Impact Awards UK and Ireland. It was in recognition of its technical development and the way the team was delivering the project. The online network, managed by Learning and Teaching Scotland and implemented by RM, aims to link around 800,000 pupils, teachers and parents in all 32 authorities. Claims that Falkirk and Fife were opting out have been denied by the councils.
In what may be the first tie-up of its kind in Scotland, Inverclyde Council is to work with the Carbon Trust to build four low-energy schools. The Pounds 85 million project, being delivered by a building consortium known as e4i (education for Inverclyde), aims to ensure that the two primaries and two secondaries will benefit from such features as good use of natural light, improved insulation and air tightness. Although they are being built through a public private partnership, which SNP ministers are committed to abolish, the Government is backing the scheme to help it reduce emissions.
The Aberdeen University academic who was the driving force behind its teacher education initiative, Scottish Teachers for a New Era, is taking a year out to become a Government policy adviser. Cathy Macaslan, who went on to become vice-principal for learning and teaching at the university, is being seconded from that post to advise Philip Rycroft, director general of the education and lifelong learning department.
A school-based counselling service, run from Strathclyde University and trialled in East Dunbartonshire over the past four years, is to go nationwide. A website with information for teachers and policy-makers went live last week. Counsellors are offering assistance to pupils facing family difficulties, bereavement, relationships problems and bullying.