A Week in Education
Two Scottish councils have agreed to share the cost of running schools in a bid to save money through reducing senior posts and jointly purchasing services. Neighbouring councils Stirling and Clackmannanshire plan to work in partnership to deliver education and social work.
The eight councils in the Clyde Valley are discussing sharing services following a review led by Sir John Arbuthnott, while East Lothian and Midlothian councils are still pursuing plans to share central education services, with a potential saving of #163;2 million between the two authorities. The Scottish Government has welcomed the development.
A #163;9 million "superschool" for Glasgow's west end has received the final go-ahead. Pupils at Notre Dame Primary are to merge with St Peter's Primary and Anderston Nursery and move to Dowanhill Primary. Pupils at Dowanhill will merge with Hillhead Primary to form a new school in Otago Street. The superschool will accommodate 434 primary pupils, while the early years centre will take 64 youngsters aged three to five.
Glasgow is also hoping it will get the go-ahead to build a Gaelic-medium primary on the same campus as the new Glendale Primary in Pollokshields. Glendale Primary is expected to be rebuilt by 2014, having won Scottish Government support in the second round of its #163;1.25 billion school building programme. However, the council is also bidding for a new, standalone Gaelic primary to be built on the same site; it would accommodate 120 pupils and stem the flow of a "significant proportion" of primary-aged children who currently travel from the south-east to the Glasgow Gaelic School in the west of the city. The roll of the Glasgow Gaelic School is growing, said headteacher Donalda McComb. It currently has 71 pupils in its P1, compared with 24 pupils in S4.
The creation of the new super-agency merging HMIE and Learning and Teaching Scotland - the Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency - is to be led by Jamie Hume, head of the renewable energy division for the Scottish Government. Mr Hume is credited with identifying obstacles to the implementation of Scotland's low-carbon energy targets and consolidating Scotland as a leader in funding for the low-carbon economy.
The Scottish Education Awards 2011, celebrating the work of pupils, teachers and schools, were launched in West Dunbartonshire this week. Brucehill Early Education and Childcare Centre, winners of a 2010 Award, hosted the launch event. Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "If you think your school is doing something innovative, exciting or of genuine merit, get online and put it forward for the Scottish Education Awards."
More than 100 members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, aged 14-25, made history this week when they gave evidence to the public petitions committee in the first committee meeting held in the Scottish Parliament's chamber. It was also the first time the committee had convened to receive petitions exclusively from young people. The MSYPs presented two petitions - calling for a ban on "mosquito devices" to deter loitering teenagers and for political education to be provided for all pupils as part of Curriculum for Excellence.