A week in education

6th July 2007 at 01:00
The latest analysis by the General Teaching Council for Scotland shows that, of the 3,549 probationers in schools last session, 82 per cent in primary got their first choice of local authority but only 67 per cent in the secondary sector got theirs. Writing in Teaching Scotland, Matthew MacIver, its registrar, acknowledged that expectations had been raised that the guaranteed induction year would turn into a permanent post for probationers and authorities would have to address that employment issue.

It is possible to turn young people on to further and higher education, according to Aimhigher Scotland. The Scottish Executive and the Royal Bank of Scotland annual roadshow has just finished its third year and found that 43 per cent of the S2-3 pupils it targets had changed their attitudes to college and university and said they would consider applying for a place (measured by questionnaire responses before and after the roadshow).

Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said she had "no intention" of changing rules that allow independent schools to claim charitable status. She made this clear in a letter to the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, written to counter "inaccurate" press reporting. Private schools have to convince the independent Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator that they constitute a "public benefit", which SCIS remains confident they can.

University graduates in Scotland can expect to earn more than pound;20,000 for the first time, according to management consultants Hay Group. The average wage of pound;20,354 compares with last year's figure of pound;19,872, but is still fourth lowest of the UK regions. Top-paying companies are in London where graduates earn on average pound;24,333.

In England, a contrasting picture has emerged following Gordon Brown's reshuffle. As the Scottish Executive reunites schools, universities and colleges under one Cabinet Secretary, Mr Brown has split them up. The Department for Education and Skills has disappeared, to be replaced by two ministries one for Children, Schools and Families and the other for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Mr Brown also decided to chair the National Council for Educational Excellence in England, which will include a group of high-powered businessmen giving strategic direction to policy making.

And in Wales, a deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru to share power will have an unlikely impact on education: one of the nationalists' cherished policies free laptops for pupils will go ahead on a pilot basis. Radical reductions in class sizes for three to seven-year-olds are also part of the agreement.

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