A week in education
The Scottish Government has rejected in part its Council of Economic Advisers' recommendation that it should consider how teacher quality can be enhanced at each level in the school system through an expansion of the chartered teacher programme. While acknowledging that the CT programme could play an important part in improving teacher quality, the Government pointed out that HMIE found this did not happen consistently across Scotland. It said: "We must focus on a range of means to develop our teachers and so raise standards in Scottish education."
Eighty per cent of 11 to 12-year-olds think domestic violence is acceptable if there is good cause, according to Napier University researcher Nancy Lombard, who surveyed 89 P7 pupils in five Glasgow primaries. Children thought it was all right for a man to hit his wife if the tea was not ready when he came home, or to punch a woman if she was having an affair. Girls also expected to modify their ambitions once they were married with children. One girl said: "I want to be a dancer or a doctor," but added: "When I grow up, I'm going to have two babies and work part-time in the shop down the road."
Labour's private finance initiative has been branded a "disgraceful legacy" by the SNP, as figures for local authorities' annual repayments from 2010-11 onwards showed an estimated cost of pound;27.7 billion. Responding to a parliamentary question seeking reassurance that the Government would employ more cost-effective means for building schools and hospitals, Finance Minister John Swinney said the Government, through its capital programme and the Scottish Futures Trust, was determined to maximise value for money. He added: "Many PPP and PFI contracts were procured at far too high a cost to the public purse."
Perth and Kinross Council has a "thorough, open and transparent" approach to self-evaluation, HMIE finds in the second of its voluntary "validated self-evaluation" reports, carried out jointly with council staff. Education and children's services received a very clear sense of direction, support and challenge from the council, chief executive and executive director, and had a clear commitment to integrated working and sustainable improvement. Key strengths included partnership working to support vulnerable children and their families, overall attainment in reading and maths in primary and S1-2, and opportunities to enhance young people's wider achievements.
A Scottish teacher has been named UK Primary Science Teacher of the Year. Laura Macfarlane, of Milngavie Primary, East Dunbartonshire, received the award from the Association of Science Education at its annual conference in Nottingham. She won pound;1,000 to purchase science equipment for her school, and six digital devices for logging heat, light and sound levels and displaying them on computer.
Schools are invited to register for this year's Scottish School Magazine Competition, run by PPA Scotland and sponsored by The TESS. The awards cover nine categories, from best editorial content to best online presence, with prizes including work experience on professional magazines. The competition will help teachers to embrace the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence, said Kathy Crawford, PPA Scotland's business manager. Deadline is April 30.