A week in education

20th April 2007 at 01:00
Glasgow City Council has finally decided not to proceed further with its case against the teacher who won a religious bias claim after his promotion at a Catholic school was blocked.

David McNab, 54, was awarded pound;2,000 compensation by an employment tribunal after he was denied an interview for a promoted pastoral care post because he did not have the approval of the Catholic Church. His case was upheld by the employment appeal tribunal, and the council has decided not to challenge that ruling.

Mr McNab, a self-confessed atheist, says he now plans to fight discrimination by standing for election to the governing executive council of the Educational Institute of Scotland. He is also urging the new Scottish Executive to abolish Catholic state schools.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, the Westminster politician and former primary teacher in Barra who sparked the West-minster "cash for honours"

investigation, is to be the subject of an investigation by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, following his admission of a hotel bedroom "romp" with two teenage girls after a ceilidh in Orkney in 2005.

A GTCS spokesman said its inquiries were intended to establish whether Mr MacNeil's conduct was such as to support any action by the council, the ultimate of which is to strike the former teacher from the register of those allowed to teach.

Nearly half of Scotland's five-year-olds have decayed teeth, making their dental health the worst in Britain.

A survey of 240,000 children by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry, carried out in 2005-06, revealed 46 per cent of Scots have tooth decay by the time they reach school, compared to 39 per cent in England and Wales. The study showed the problem was worst in Glasgow, where more than 50 per cent had tooth decay.

Earlier this week, the Scottish Conservatives pledged to invest pound;10 million a year to get mobile dental units into schools.

There has been a slight rise in the number of pupils at independent secondary schools, according to the latest statistics. Scottish Executive figures show there are now more than 30,500 pupils at schools in the independent sector in Scotland - a rise of almost 200 on the previous year.

The report said 4.2 per cent of pupils attended independent schools at the time of the census, September 2006, and that figure had remained stable over 10 years, despite a decrease in the population. The numbers going to independent primaries fell by 16 and to special schools by 29 from 2005. This compared to an increase of 243 pupils in secondary schools.

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