A week in education
The man credited with hammering out a compromise on student tuition fees in Scotland will arise as "Sir" Andrew Cubie after being knighted in the New Year Honours. Running him close is Isabelle Boyd, headteacher of Cardinal Newman High in Bellshill, who was made a CBE. Leading the rest of the pack, with OBEs, are Judith Sischy, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, and Isabel Bruce, vice-chair of the University of the West of Scotland. The MBE went to Isobel Brodie, former depute head at Webster's High in Kirriemuir; Margaret Fish, former teacher at Park Primary in Alloa; Donna Hindmarch, former depute head at Coupar Angus Primary; and Douglas MacNeilage, former janitor at Tobermory High on Mull.
Schools should become greener following Scottish Government measures to reduce carbon footprints. The Carbon Trust will kick off the initiative with new schools in Moray, Orkney and the Western Isles. Two schools renewables development officers will prise money out of the UK Low Carbon Building Programme and build links with the private sector. A "web portal" will provide advice on low-carbon school estates, while the Government will work with the trust on measures to help local authorities with school design.
A campaign has been launched to persuade people to hand in unwanted musical instruments so they can be used for the benefit of children. The Play it Again initiative is based on a similar scheme in London and is being promoted by SNP MSP Aileen Campbell. It has won backing from a diverse group including the Scottish Arts Council, the Aberlour children's charity and Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy.
David Wilson, 47, has been suspended as rector of Auchmuty High in Glenrothes, after appearing in court charged with possessing child pornography. He appeared in private before a sheriff in his home town of Paisley on December 22. Mr Wilson made no plea and the case was continued for further examination and he was granted bail.
Seventy-one new school building projects were completed in 2008, according to figures - 42 financed through public private partnerships and the rest by other means. Ministers have been accused of slowing down the programme because of their opposition to PPP, and the figures do not reveal if any of these projects were authorised by the SNP Government or its predecessor.