News at a glance

21st March 2014 at 00:00

Pension contribution hike pushed through

A motion to scrap the planned increase in teachers' pension contributions has been rejected by MSPs. Parliament's Education and Culture Committee voted against the proposal by Labour's Neil Bibby, who said teachers were already under significant financial pressure. The committee heard evidence from education secretary Michael Russell, who stressed that the government had "no choice but to increase contributions for a third year". The increase will mean that the amount deducted from teachers' pay has increased by 50 per cent since April 2012, according to the EIS teaching union.

Higher status urged for computing

Eight Scottish universities will recommend that students take a Higher in computing science to gain entry to undergraduate computing courses, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance has announced. Kate Farrell, co-chair of the Computing At School Scotland working group, said this was an important step towards school leaders, parents and students recognising computing science as a rigorous academic subject. Dr Quintin Cutts, national project officer for the Professional Learning and Networking for Computing project, added that the new SQA qualifications had enabled universities to make this commitment to computing in schools.

Games salon will help athletes to shine

Students are to run a hair and beauty salon for athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games. West College Scotland will operate the shop - offering hair-styling, make-up and male grooming - in the athletes' village. The college has chosen 70 of its most promising students for the project, who will be working in return for donations to the official Glasgow 2014 charities. The students will be supervised by teaching staff and volunteers from Scotland's top professional salons. Shona Robison, the minister responsible for the Commonwealth Games, said: "There can be no better way to start your career than working with some of the biggest names in sport."

Student voice on CfE gets cash boost

A project to ensure young people's voices are heard during the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence is to receive pound;50,000 in funding from the Scottish government. Later this month, students will take part in a children's conference. Young people will also be involved in creating a website highlighting what the new curriculum means to them and part of the funding will go to organisations such as the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Schools scrub up for world hand-washing record

Around 11,000 students from almost 80 schools across Glasgow have attempted to break a Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous hand-washing lesson. The primary children took part in hygiene sessions at their schools, which were led by teachers and about 180 visiting student nurses from Glasgow Caledonian University. Around 100 children also participated in the record attempt at the Glasgow Science Centre. The record, which will take several weeks to confirm, was previously held by the Health Protection Agency in England, whose attempt involved 2,147 students from 21 schools across the UK.

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