Excellence that ministers can do without

24th June 2005 at 01:00
* PiE - partners in excellence The PiE model offers "a unique and innovative approach" to modern language learning, according to the evaluation. It builds on a virtual learning centre and is offered to pupils on an opt-in basis, primarily around extra-curricular activities.

Evaluations show that both participation and attainment levels in modern languages have increased significantly. In 2003, the project won the European Award for Languages - a prize backed by the European Commission.

John Mulgrew, director of education for East Ayrshire, said he would be investigating whether fresh funding could be found from the Executive's fund for languages.

* Shawlands learning community.

The centre is not a unit within the school but is the school and includes all pupils. As such, all pupils study two languages other than English from S1 to S6. They are involved in international education activities across the curriculum and have the opportunity to be involved with links to other schools, taking part in visits and exchanges.

The school plays host to Glasgow's bilingual support unit (secondary) and is a presenting centre for English examination boards which certificate in languages not available within the Scottish system.

* Fife music project

Restricted to pupils within Fife, this project aims to increase participation in music tuition, mainly out of school hours. It currently includes 115 pupils.

Graeme Wilson, the authority's music services manager, said that the scheme had been highly successful in giving youngsters who might never have considered living away from home the chance to push themselves and raise their attainment.

* DEIEP - developing effective international education practice

This project, which started in 1998, has enabled teachers to access international continuing professional development opportunities. So far, 12 of the partner authorities have said they will fund the initiative to enable it to continue.

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