A week in education
Scottish teachers are the most trusted professionals in the UK. A poll of 2,000 adults by Ipsos MORI for the Royal College of Physicians found that in the country as a whole, doctors were trusted to tell the truth more than anybody else, by 92 per cent; teachers were in second place at 88 per cent. But, broken down into different parts of the country, the results reveal that Scottish teachers came out top with a rating of 94 per cent (in contrast with only 81 per cent in Wales).
The number of "at risk" youngsters placed on child protection registers in the year to the end of March jumped by 29 per cent to 3,628. Physical neglect or injury cases increased by 52 per cent, emotional abuse by 29 per cent and sexual harm by 21 per cent. The total number of child protection referrals in 2008-09 stood at 12,713, a rise of 3 per cent. The latest area inspection of child protection, a follow-through report on Moray, concluded that the authorities had made "encouraging progress" in improving services since the initial inspection.
The Government has pledged to produce a framework for outdoor learning by the spring of next year. Keith Brown, the Schools Minister, told Independent MSP Margo MacDonald in a parliamentary answer. This would include the role of residential experiences for the full 3-18 curriculum. A DVD for pre-school children on the new curriculum, issued last week, includes a section on outdoor learning (see pages 12-15).
Inspectors have praised Dumfries and Galloway Council for taking "effective action" to raise the quality of its education service. A follow-through report by HMIE found that, as a result of significant changes in the political and professional leadership of the council, education was now "demonstrating a clearer capacity for continuous improvement."
Swine flu appears to have hit a West Lothian secondary hard this week. West Lothian Council reported that 290 Linlithgow Academy pupils had called in sick, 135 of them reporting flu-like symptoms. Gordon Ford, director of education, said: "We are following government guidance on managing this outbreak and there are no plans to close schools at this time."
Monifieth High in Angus believes it is the first secondary school in Scotland to give all parents access to Glow. With their own home page and entrance to the schools intranet at all levels, parents will be able to monitor their child's performance securely, supported by study and revision materials.
Three Scottish universities have made it into the top 100 in the world university rankings, published yesterday by our sister paper Times Higher Education and the QS Intelligence Unit. Based on a range of data, such as faculty citations, research activity and employer reviews, Edinburgh is in joint 20th place (up from 23rd last year), Glasgow is ranked 79 (73) and St Andrews joint 87th (83=).
Whitelees Primary in Cumbernauld was named best green school at the inaugural Scottish Green Awards last week. Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, which sponsors the event, praised the school for its "proactive approach in spreading the green message in its community".