A week in education

7th August 2009 at 01:00
A round-up of the week's stories in Scottish education

The Scottish Government has announced an Pounds 800,000 boost for Gaelic education. The cash will be added to the Pounds 1.35 million Gaelic Schools Capital Fund for 2009-10 and will strengthen work to expand Gaelic education across Scotland. First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The Scottish Government is doing all we can to promote the language and to expand Gaelic education to schools across Scotland. This investment will help create new speakers and help to create a sustainable future for the language."

Aberdeen City Council, which last year admitted it would have to make millions of pounds of cuts to services, has been praised for its progress. A report by the Accounts Commission said it welcomed the headway the council had made, but warned that further improvements were still required. John Baillie, the chair of the Accounts Commission, said: "The council has made a good start in addressing our findings on the initial best value audit report and we commend the progress made across a range of activity. We are encouraged by the prompt and decisive action taken by the council and consider that it now has a very promising base for further improvement." The Social Work Inspection Agency also had good news for the council. Social work inspectors found "there was a clearer sense of purpose and improved staff morale" since a critical report published in June last year. However it, too, stressed it was early days.

A retired craft and design teacher who claimed his hearing was damaged by pupils using metal and woodwork machines has lost his claim for damages. Eric Robinson, who worked at Newbattle High in Dalkeith and Lasswade High in Penicuik, launched the legal bid against his former employers at Midlothian Council after alleging the damage left him unable to continue teaching. However, Lady Stacey at the Court of Session ruled that, while it was not disputed that the 56-year-old had suffered hearing loss, his lawyers had failed to prove the conditions had been caused by noise.

Parents who educate their children at home are preparing to flee England and settle in Scotland, the home education support organisation Schoolhouse has claimed, following the publication of an English report on elective home education. The organisation reported a dramatic increase in enquiries from English families unwilling to undergo the additional checks recommended in Graham Badman's report, The Elective Home Education Review. The review was launched in January in the aftermath of the Baby P case in Haringey, north London, to ensure that home education was not used by parents as a "cover for abuse".

Schools are failing to inform parents their children can opt out of religious assemblies, the Humanist Society of Scotland has claimed. It said parents were not being informed about their rights concerning religious education or schools' duties to provide meaningful alternatives to religious observance.

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