News at a glance

6th December 2013 at 00:00

Exam-cheat numbers fall

The number of students penalised for cheating in Scottish school examinations has fallen, according to figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. In 2013, 249 students were disciplined compared with 324 in 2012, a fall of 23 per cent. In a further 56 cases, students were given warnings but no further action was taken. There were also significantly fewer cases of inappropriate smartphone use in this summer's exams - 51 compared with 64 in 2012. Among the 249 disciplinary cases, the SQA noted 88 instances of plagiarism, 31 of collusion and 17 of taking other prohibited items such as notes into the exam room.

New skills platform could be a game-changer

Those working in social services will soon be able to take part in cutting-edge skills development using 3D computer games. Over the next two years, a newly established partnership between the Scottish Social Services Council and the University of the West of Scotland will develop a learning platform to simulate a range of real-life scenarios and allow staff who work with young people to tackle those situations in a safe learning environment. The project also aims to improve social workers' skills in using new and emerging technologies.

'Technological creep' not welcome in nurseries

Only a quarter of people believe children benefit from technology being used in nurseries, according to a survey by daynursery.co.uk. Davina Ludlow, director of the website, said that children were increasingly exposed to technology at an early age and she was concerned that tablet computers were "displacing the traditional methods of learning and play activities". The poll of 800 people showed that the majority of people wanted early education and childhood play to be protected from "technological creep", she added.

Lanarkshire apprentices are good as gold

New College Lanarkshire made it to the top of the leader board at national skills competition WorldSkills UK last month, only weeks after it was formed by the merger of Cumbernauld and Motherwell Colleges. Four students from the college won a gold medal, another five took silver and two won bronze at the two-day competition in Birmingham, in which 700 promising apprentices from across the UK competed in disciplines from IT support technician to mechanical engineering. A total of 235 organisations participated in this year's event, where New College Lanarkshire won the "best in the UK" title.

Philosophy thesis award not just wishful thinking

A primary school teacher from East Renfrewshire has won a top award for the best undergraduate thesis in Scottish teacher education. Ainslie E McCabe, from Cross Arthurlie Primary, wrote her dissertation on teaching philosophy to children while studying at the University of Strathclyde. She graduated this year with a first-class degree. Ms McCabe was announced as the winner of the George D Gray CBE MA award at a meeting of the General Teaching Council for Scotland this week.

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