Cut CfE red tape, urges report
Schools are becoming bogged down in paperwork attached to Curriculum for Excellence, a report has found. The document says that teachers are becoming trapped in red tape generated by over-detailed planning and assessment, and tracking and reporting systems that are "not fit for purpose". The report was produced by the group charged with tackling bureaucracy linked to the new curriculum, which was set up by education secretary Michael Russell in response to teachers' complaints. The inspectorate has also warned that the bureaucracy building up around the new curriculum is getting in the way of high-quality teaching and learning, especially in primary schools. The new report calls for "tick box" approaches to monitoring student progress to be replaced with "narrative reporting". ICT planning and reporting systems should also be used with caution and assessment judgements should be based on evidence "drawn mainly from day-to-day teaching and learning" instead of large folios of evidence. The general secretary of the EIS teaching union, Larry Flanagan, welcomed the report, saying: "The EIS will be using this report, as part of our workload campaign, to advise members on taking the necessary action to tackle bureaucracy in our schools."
Commonwealth Games' crowning glory
A Highland primary school has become the first educational institution to receive an official Game On Scotland plaque for its learning initiatives around the Commonwealth Games. Crown Primary in Inverness received the award after carrying out a range of activities including entering the Athletes' Village art competition, telling stories from all over the Commonwealth and creating a world map tracking the Queen's Baton Relay. The school was presented with its award by Shona Robison, minister for Commonwealth Games and sport, this week. www.gameonscotland.org
Aberdeen teacher removed from register
A history teacher has been removed from the teaching register after shouting, swearing and making racist remarks to an Aberdeen nightclub employee. Rachael Patterson (also known as Sedgwick) was found guilty by a sheriff in January 2013 of acting in a racially aggravated manner on 5 May 2012 and was fined #163;600. The General Teaching Council for Scotland's fitness to teach panel accepted that her teaching ability was impaired as the conviction represented "conduct that falls short of the standard expected of a registered teacher".
There's something about Mairi
Author Mairi Hedderwick brought her most famous children's character Katie Morag to an Authors Live event in Glasgow this week as part of Book Week Scotland. At the event, Hedderwick read from her favourite Katie Morag tales, told the audience what it was like to see her character realised in a new CBeebies series and answered questions from children in the audience and others across Scotland. For teachers and students who missed it, the session is available via the Scottish Book Trust website. For more information, see bit.lyBookTrust.