A week in education

16th January 2009 at 00:00

The former head of an East Lothian school has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service and placed on probation for three years. Andrew Melville, 48, who was head of Whitecraigs Primary in Musselburgh, had pleaded guilty after police found 457 indecent images of children on his computer. He was sacked from his job in July last year. It emerged that a teacher at the school ordered the janitor to buy up all copies of the local newspaper covering the story when the charges first came to light.

The SNP Government has been accused of breaking another election pledge, this time on swimming. Frank McAveety, Labour's sport spokesman, said a survey by the party had shown that only two of the 32 authorities - Glasgow and Inverclyde - were providing free, year-round access to council swimming pools for children under 16, which was a commitment made in the SNP's 2006 election manifesto. Three others allow use of their pools on a limited basis - Edinburgh for children up to S1, and East Renfrewshire and Fife only during the school holidays.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association has announced the retirement of its general secretary, David Eaglesham, after a prolonged series of negotiations. Mr Eaglesham held the post for 12 years, taking it up following the deaths of his two predecessors. James Docherty, depute and son of the former general secretary of the same name from 1964-81, will take over in an acting capacity.

Learning and Teaching Scotland has issued a reminder that it has extended the deadline to January 30 for the submission of abstracts for those wishing to take part in the 2009 Scottish Learning Festival. Details at www.LTScotland.org.ukslfaboutslfparticipation.asp

The General Teaching Council for England is to investigate why only 10 teachers have been struck off for under-performance since its 2001 set up. The council has held 64 hearings into allegations of incompetence during the past seven years. The GTC in Scotland has started hearings and has dealt with one case.

More support for part-time students has been announced by Lifelong Learning Secretary Fiona Hyslop. It is intended to benefit up to 150 part-time postgraduate students, where funding is currently confined to full-timers. More students on a wider range of courses will also be entitled to funding under the Individual Learning Account scheme. The Labour Party has dismissed the additional support as "a drop in the ocean".

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