News at a glance

13th December 2013 at 00:00

#163;6m in sports funding announced

Nearly #163;6 million in funding has been announced by the Scottish government to promote physical education in schools. The money, to be made available over the next two years, was unveiled earlier this week at the same time as a new draft youth sport strategy. The document includes plans for more competitive games in schools and a drive to fully involve disabled children in sport and PE. Responding to the funding announcement, the Scottish Conservatives said many primary schools continued to be "short-changed" because they did not have access to specialist PE teachers.

Excellence beckons for Castlebrae

A tiny Edinburgh secondary saved from closure earlier this year is set to become a centre of excellence for science education. The move comes after the council approved an action plan to boost student numbers and improve standards at Castlebrae High. The plan would make the most of the school's close proximity to the city's BioQuarter and Royal Infirmary, the group developing an improvement plan for the school has said. Castlebrae will also forge better links with its feeder primaries.

'God' of particles wins physics teaching prize

A physics teacher nicknamed "God" by his Advanced Higher students has been named physics teacher of the year. Alex Munro from Lossiemouth High in Moray picked up the Institute of Physics award at a recent ceremony in London. Mr Munro's award citation reads: "He is held in the greatest respect by pupils past and present, who are impressed by his dedication and love for teaching, as well as his innovative and engaging lessons." Depute head Bob Drysdale said: "Throughout the 32 years that I have known him, he has had a reputation for the care and enthusiasm with which he prepares his lessons, and for the respect and consideration which he has for his students."

Preschool students rise as teacher numbers fall

The number of preschool teachers in Scotland has fallen, despite a significant increase in student numbers. Figures released by the government this week show that there were 1,288 full-time equivalent preschool teachers in 2013, compared with the revised figures of 1,353 for 2012 and 1,504 in 2010. At the same time, the number of preschool students rose from 92,030 in 2010 to a reported 102,871 in 2013. Greg Dempster, general secretary of the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS), said that trend was "totally set against the government's stated intention to significantly increase preschool provision and its commitment to early intervention in terms of quality early education".

Pictures equal a thousand words

A project that uses wordless picture books to develop the language skills of immigrant primary children in Glasgow has won an award celebrating school and university collaborations. The project, Journeys from Images to Words, involves University of Glasgow researchers working with two Glasgow primary schools to develop children's language and literacy skills. The project won the BCF-BERA Routledge Prize 2013 for joint development work between schools and universities.

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