A week in education

4th September 2009 at 01:00
Scotland's educational news

Official statistics show a record 50 per cent of all Higher exams sat this summer in independent schools resulted in A-grades, a marginal increase on last year. The number of A-grades at Advanced Higher has also risen slightly, to 39 per cent. The pass rate for candidates attaining A to C grades was 91 per cent, compared with a national Higher pass rate for all Scottish schools, including the independent sector, of 74.2 per cent.

The controversial Children's Hearings Bill has been delayed by a year. A draft bill, published in June, had been increasingly widely criticised, with many children's panel members ready to quit. There were concerns about bureaucracy and the threat to the child-centred approach of the children's hearings system.

Ten pupils from Scotland will go to the Nasa Space Centre in Houston, Texas, later this year to meet astronauts, engineers and scientists. The pupils, who attend schools stretching from Orkney's Stromness Academy to Cumnock Academy in East Ayrshire, were selected from more than 300 young people for the 10-day study trip, organised by Skills Development Scotland.

The Scottish Government has given pound;200,000 to the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, for three projects helping young carers from primary school through to adulthood. They will provide help for primary school teachers to identify children who are carers. The cash will also fund a specialist worker dealing with young carers' mental health and well-being, and support young carers seeking jobs or training.

A survey of how children travel to school, which organisers say will be the largest carried out in Scotland, is to take place next week. The Hands Up Scotland Survey, organised by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and school travel co-ordinators in every local authority, will seek pupils' contributions between September 7-11. Information is available from school travel co-ordinators, or E: paul.ruffles@sustrans.co.uk

An East Dunbartonshire school has been given the best HMIE report since new "light touch" inspections were introduced in April last year. Holy Family Primary and Nursery, which has 385 pupils and 88 pre-school children, was rated "excellent" in five out of eight indicators of performance, and "very good" in the others.

A company which transforms school texts such as Othello and Lord of the Flies into rock and pop songs is looking for volunteer schools with the aim of creating materials for the Scottish curriculum. Hundreds of pupils in south Wales have started studying GCSE English through music in the LearnThruMusic project, which is supported by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and run by Rewise Learning.

www.learnthrumusic.co.uk

Involving children and young people in how their schools are organised and run was one of 21 commitments to which the Scottish Government signed up this week in a bid to improve children's rights in the UK. The action plan was put in place in response to recommendations made last year by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

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