A week in education

4th May 2007 at 01:00
As we await the final results, a national mock election run by the Modern Studies Association found pupils backed the SNP. Every school in Scotland was invited to take part and, of the 1,153 pupils who did, 39.4 per cent voted SNP, 31.5 per cent Labour, 13.9 per cent Liberal Democrat, and 8.7 per cent Conservative.

The P7 football team at the Erskine Stewart's Melville Junior school has become the first independent school entrant to win the Bank of Scotland SFA Primary 7s national finals. Despite the school's sporting prowess being more usually associated with the rugby field, the team is gaining a reputation in the schoolboy soccer world after finishing runners-up last year in the P6 national finals. This year, they qualified for the final having won every game and not conceded a single goal. They beat McLean Primary from Dunfermline 2-0.

A teacher is facing the end of her career after being jailed for her part in one of Scotland's biggest piracy frauds. Helen Halliday, 27, who taught at St John's Primary in Ayr, was sentenced to 20 months after trading standards officials seized fake DVDs and copying equipment worth pound;100,000. A spokesman for the GTC for Scotland said: "As soon as we receive a report from the police and local authority, we will investigate further."

Fewer Scottish school-leavers are applying for university places. According to the university admissions body, UCAS, 24,078 Scots aged under 21 applied for a place this year compared with 25,116 in 2003 - a fall of 1,038 in four years. However, when all ages are taken into consideration, 30,651 Scots applied in 2003 compared with 30,297 this year.

Aberdeenshire teacher Elaine Stephen, who invented the "Walkodile" - a device that links up to six children to keep them safe while walking to school - has had her efforts recognised. The 43-year-old, who teaches at Buchanhaven Primary in Peterhead, won awards for product development and invention, and innovation at the annual British Female Inventors and Innovators Awards ceremony in London last week.

Inveralmond Community High in Livingston has become one of the first schools in the country to use podcasts as revision aids. Staff have created audio guides on passing Standard grades in English, maths, German, history, religious studies, modern studies and drama, available from the school's website, to capitalise on the fact many pupils have MP3 players and ipods.

John Wood, the drama teacher, said homework was seen as uncool. This way, pupils could revise while walking to school without their peers knowing.

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