A week in education

24th July 2009 at 01:00
A roundup of the week's biggest education news stories in Scotland

New job-loss figures show Scotland's reputation as a global leader in higher education is at risk, according to the University and College Union. It claims that 280 jobs will be lost at Scottish universities as a result of the recession, largely at Strathclyde and Stirling universities. The union warned that these may be the "tip of the iceberg" and that cuts in higher education would undermine Scotland's economic recovery. UCU Scotland president Lesley McIntosh said it was worrying that many institutions had not set out financial plans.

A house parent at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh sexually abused a 15-year-old and slept with an older pupil. Ryan Deneven-Lewis, 27, had admitted his relationship with the older girl to police - an offence because he was in a position of trust - and pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week to lewd and libidinous behaviour towards the younger girl. Deneven-Lewis, 27, of Leeds, worked at the school for a short time. The offences came to light on social networking sites.

Nearly 39,000 P5 children have been introduced to golf through the Government-funded clubgolf initiative, First Minister Alex Salmond announced at the Open Championship in Turnberry last week. Firstclubgolf, the scheme's introductory game, uses modified equipment to give children a taste of the sport in school. The figure represents 71 per cent of P5s in Scotland, an increase of 15 per cent on last year.

A teacher who claims he was subjected to gay taunts from pupils will be allowed to make his case at an employment tribunal. James Campbell, 62, has taken action against Falkirk Council. Mr Campbell, who is married and not gay, claims he was subjected to comments from pupils over several years. Following a preliminary hearing, employment judge Robert Gall ruled that the claim of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation should go to a full hearing. The former Denny High art teacher previously lost a disability claim relating to taunts about his baldness, and an unfair dismissal claim that unruly pupils had forced him to retire.

The education activities at Culzean Castle and Country Park in Ayrshire have earned a sixth consecutive award from the Heritage Education Trust. This follows an assessment of its environmental education programmes, carried out every five years, for which Culzean has won the Sandford Award each time since the first in 1984. In the past five years, activities have ranged from Victorian life to biodiversity.

The latest, if little-noticed, victims of the economic downturn are students in Newton Stewart. Dumfries and Galloway College says it is being forced to close its centre there, which caters for around 20 students in IT and hospitality. The college says it can no longer afford to subsidise the loss-making operation because of the recession, a minimal increase in its funding for next year and a loss of income from external contracts.

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