News at a glance
Probationer struck off for marking her own report
A teacher has been struck off the teaching register by the General Teaching Council for Scotland for grading her own performance. Denise Holt, a business education teacher, was a probationer at Maxwelltown High in Dumfries and Galloway between 12 November and 21 December 2012 when she completed and submitted her own interim report, grading her progress as "satisfactory". She told the GTCS that another teacher at the school had marked her progress, but this was found not to be the case. The GTCS Fitness to Teach Panel said that her behaviour had been dishonest and fell "significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher".
MSP announces focus on dangers of 'legal highs'
Teachers keen to inform their students about the dangers of "legal highs" will soon have new research, information and advice to draw from. Community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham announced that the new materials were being produced for the government's drug information and advice service Know the Score. There are also plans to hold a summit in an attempt to tackle the use of new psychoactive substances. This will build on a workshop held last year and will focus on enforcement and the legal options available to Scotland.
Commonwealth challenge to link schools
An education charity has set itself the challenge of establishing links with schools in all 70 Commonwealth nations and territories ahead of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow in July. The charity, Character Scotland, began its journey in India, and will follow the same path as the Queen's Baton Relay. However, it will not progress until a school in that particular nation or territory is signed up to the Inspire[s19]Aspire project, which aims to get young people from across the globe to share their beliefs, values and goals. Find out more at inspire-aspire.org.uk
'What Scotland means to me' photo competition
Primary and secondary students are being invited to take part in a competition run by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Participants should contribute one original photograph and a caption on "What Scotland means to me today" to Scran, an online resource of images and sounds. The competition will run from April to June 2014 and the winners will be announced in August. The top 20 submissions will feature in a touring exhibition.
Nuts and bolts information on new Nationals
Resources have been published to help parents and carers to understand the new National qualifications that students will sit for the first time this year. The information - produced by the National Parent Forum of Scotland in conjunction with the Scottish government - is available at parentforumscotland.org and includes topics such as "Pointers for Parents and Pupils: supporting learning and revision" and "Nationals in a Nutshell: assessment".
Scottish Education Awards: get your entries in
Nominations for this year's Scottish Education Awards close a week today. Organisers are calling on schools to get their entries in for everything from the Health and Wellbeing Award to Teacher of the Year before nominations close on 21 February. For more information, go to www.scottisheducationawards.org.uk.