In Brief

22nd May 2009 at 01:00
Community of leaders

School leadership is not just a preoccupation in Scotland, as teacher unions from throughout Europe confirmed when they met in Helsinki earlier this month to discuss "quality leadership for quality education". Jukka Alava, director of the institute of educational leadership at Jyvaskyla University in Finland, argued that a school should have not just a single leader, but "a community of leaders", comprising teachers, support staff, students, parents and others. The seminar agreed that school leaders should be trained teachers, but they should also have managerial and coaching skills.

Options for training

More than 50,000 unemployed young people aged between 18 and 25 in Ireland will receive an official letter over the coming weeks, setting out the options available to them for returning to education or training. Mary Hanafin, the Dublin government's minister for social and family affairs, said it was important that young unemployed people who opted out of education when high wages were on offer during the boom years were more likely to remain unemployed if they did not improve their skills or education.

Teacher observation

Headteachers in England would be given extended powers to monitor teachers in class if the Conservatives win the next Westminster election. Michael Gove, the party's Edinburgh-born shadow schools secretary, has pledged to scrap the "absurd" rule that restricts classroom observation of teachers to three hours a year.

DNA file removed

A former teacher in Tyne and Wear, in northern England, has won a legal fight to have his DNA removed from police records after he was wrongly arrested for an alleged assault on a pupil. Matthew Wren, 37, had been a teacher for 15 years and said the incident traumatised him so much he had been forced to give up his job.

Mix-ups in maths

It is not only Scotland and England that have had experience of exam fiascos. In the German state of Hesse, 15,000 pupils in gymnasium (grammar) schools face having to repeat their final exams in maths because of question errors and mix-ups when they sat the tests in March.

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