News at a glance

1st November 2013 at 00:00

Struck-off teacher told class 'Hitler wasn't all bad'

A history and religious education teacher was found unfit to teach after telling students that "Hitler wasn't all bad" and making comments about porn and child abuse. David McNally, who was a supply teacher at Kilwinning Academy in North Ayrshire, told S3 students that he "would have rather been (...) a child abuser" than a teacher. He also said that he had a part-time job at a children's home where they had taught him how to "whip a child with a wet towel without leaving a mark". Mr McNally told the same class that he loved his mobile phone because he could "sit and watch porn on it". In a Higher class on the same day, he asked students if they had had sex the previous weekend, and said that "Hitler wasn't all bad; he killed the Jews, the gays and the disabled". In a submission to the General Teaching Council for Scotland fitness to teach panel, Mr McNally admitted the facts against him but said he had made the comments after a particularly bad day.

Serious money offered for play

The Scottish government has launched a Play Strategy Action Plan. This aims to encourage the building of new schools whose grounds follow the recommendations set out in The Good School Playground Guide, published by charity Grounds4Learning. It also promises to consider how to increase community access to school playgrounds, and commits #163;90,000 in funding to help charities and play groups deliver opportunities for play, as well as a professional development award in strategic play planning in five council areas.

More dollars for scholars

Higher education student support in Scotland increased by an average of #163;60 per student in 2012-13. The overall funding provided to students increased by #163;11 million, and the number of students supported was up from 133,990 to 135,375, according to figures from Scotland's chief statistician. The average student received #163;4,316 in 2012-13 and the total amount paid in tuition fees, bursaries and grants or authorised in loans rose by #163;14 million to #163;584.3 million.

Teacher off register after webcam invite

An English teacher has been removed from the teaching register after being accused of exchanging inappropriate messages with a student on the internet and agreeing to view pictures of her via a webcam. The General Teaching Council for Scotland found that James Murphy failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and avoid improper contact with the student, who had also sent him handwritten notes of a sexual nature, one of which stated she was pregnant. The incident happened while he was working as a supply teacher at All Saint's Secondary School in Glasgow between August 2008 and June 2009.

Colleges come together

Four new regional colleges have been launched in Scotland today. Aberdeen College and Banff and Buchan College will merge to form North East Scotland College, while Motherwell and Cumbernauld colleges in Lanarkshire will become New College Lanarkshire. In Glasgow, Glasgow Kelvin College is being created through the merger of Stow, North Glasgow and John Wheatley colleges. Dundee and Angus colleges will come together to form Dundee and Angus College.

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