A Week in Education

17th September 2010 at 01:00

Education Secretary Michael Russell has proposed scrapping some national education statistics. He says data such as those on school spending and exclusions are already published elsewhere, while others such as school meal figures are collected in different ways by local authorities and are meaningless when issued nationally. He wants to see teachers spending more time teaching and less on filling in statistical returns. But this reason was dismissed as "spurious" by Pamela Munn of Moray House School of Education, who said the information would still be collected at local level. Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said the proposal could lead to additional Freedom of Information requests which might be more time- consuming and costly.

Letters, p20

Aberdeenshire Council's former education director has landed a key role with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland. Bruce Robertson, who resigned after an inquiry into the management of education in the council, is to become an executive officer with ADES, a post which is being funded by the Scottish Government for a year. He will review how the association can become more effective, which will include building up the capacity of the directorate "in these difficult times for the public sector".

Glasgow plans to hand over responsibility for school libraries and education resources to the public library service, known as Glasgow Life. Integration would improve access to materials for schools and lead to increased discounts from suppliers, the city council believes. The education department will pay a fee of pound;800,000 to Glasgow Life, saving pound;230,000 on existing costs.

Education Secretary Michael Russell has revoked his decision to "call in" a decision by Glasgow City Council to close three schools, saying he had now received further information that satisfied concerns about the educational benefits of the closures. Jean McFadden, Glasgow's education convener, described the call-in as "farcical", and "a totally political decision that seems to have been just a paper exercise and an opportunity for the minister to flex his muscles".

One in 10 Scottish students drop out within a year of starting their university course, the second-highest rate in the UK. Data released under a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Post show only Northern Ireland has more drop-outs, at 10.2 per cent.

Glasgow's Stow College, whose viability is in doubt after it pulled out of talks over the new "super college" in the city, has had the effectiveness of its work with students called into question by HMIE. While the college is said to be well-led overall, the leadership for learning and teaching "has insufficient impact", the inspectors found. It says not enough students are completing their course or performing well in full-time FE courses.

The arrangements for child protection in North Ayrshire have won the confidence of inspectors, who have awarded the service four scores of "very good" and two of "good". As with most such reports, the assessment of risk and needs is one of the main areas requiring attention.

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