A week in education

29th June 2007 at 01:00
Officials in Glasgow have sparked controversy with plans to make church approval compulsory for all teachers wanting to work in Catholic schools.

It follows the ruling from an employment tribunal, upheld on appeal, that the church had the right to approve all teachers in its schools.

Previously, some authorities reserved church approval only for candidates for the most sensitive jobs, such as guidance and headship posts.

The Educational Institute of Scotland said it opposed the move, based on its policy that there should be no discrimination in employment. But the Scottish Catholic Education Service insists that teachers in RC schools, "of whatever faith", would simply be required to demonstrate a commitment to the values of Catholic education.

The Scottish Executive has written to all providers of residential care "reminding them of their obligations, both for the protection of children in their care and for the provision of effective measures to enable children to make complaints safely".

Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Early Years, acted following the report by Glasgow City Council on the abuse of children at Kerelaw School.

Mr Ingram is to meet the council to discuss the report and will also consult residential providers and social work officials to see if any further improvements are necessary to protect children from abuse while in residential care.

Scottish teachers are to be asked about "being professional". A survey by the Applied Educational Research Scheme, covering primary and secondary schools, will ask teachers about their experiences of work, relations with colleagues and their school's ethos and professional culture.

The survey is supported by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the Educational Institute of Scotland, the Scottish Secondary Teachers'

Association and Learning and Teaching Scotland. It will remain open until mid-July and is available online at www.LTScotland.org.uk

The number of graduates qualified to teach Gaelic has reached record levels. Around 20 primary and nine secondary Gaelic-speaking teachers will begin their probationary year in August, compared with 12 primary and two secondary last year. Such is the shortage of Gaelic teachers with the growth in Gaelic-medium education that education officials confidently predict they will have no problems securing jobs.

One in five candidates has signed up for the Scottish Qualifications Authority's exam results online service - over 30,000 in total. This will allow them to view their results over the internet a day before the printed versions arrive in the post, on August 7. The SQA piloted the initiative in remote areas last year and has decided to extend it, following positive feedback and reassurances on security.

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