A week in education
The Scottish schools intranet, Glow, is on track to deliver, according to the public audit committee of MSPs. Its report on the management of major capital projects found, in general, that it had to be improved. But the Pounds 38 million project which aims to link Scotland's 800,000 teachers and pupils - the only education project examined by Audit Scotland for the committee - is said to be progressing according to plan on quality and cost. The only reservation is that there is a "small overrun in time" against planned delivery in 2010.
As the programme of establishing "Confucius classroom" hubs nears completion in eight schools in Scotland, the next step in the process of learning the Chinese language will be to do so in China. Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced that 51 pupils and nine teachers will be given the chance of a study visit for two-and-a-half weeks in the summer, which will include an intensive 30 hours' Mandarin tuition.
An Inverclyde teacher who claimed sex discrimination has been awarded Pounds 6,500 compensation. PE teacher Ian Linklater complained the only reason for being transferred to another campus at his school was to supervise boys' changing rooms. The headteacher at Inverclyde Academy swapped his and a female teacher's places of work to ensure "good order, decency and chaperonage". But an employment tribunal upheld his claim and recommended to Inverclyde Council that it should offer headteachers training in sex discrimination.
Around 80 school jobs are to be axed by Renfrewshire Council, including 28 teaching posts. Classroom assistants, administrative staff, foreign language assistants and music tutors will also go, although no compulsory redundancies are planned. The council has agreed Pounds 5.4 million of savings, of which education must contribute Pounds 2.4 million. Officials say education has been protected, since savings as a proportion of budget spend were lower than in all other departments, and that there are 1,000 fewer pupils than in 2007-08.
North Lanarkshire has finally completed 24 new nursery, primary and secondary schools in a Pounds 150 million PPP project, celebrated last week with the official opening of Coatbridge High. The council says the schools have all been delivered on time and on budget. South Lanarkshire Council, meanwhile, has been commended by Audit Scotland for the good progress it is making on an "ambitious" programme to improve its school estate, which aims to have all primary and secondary schools modernised by 2016.