News at a glance

4th April 2014 at 01:00

Student death prompts city-wide inspections

Authorities in Edinburgh began carrying out safety checks in schools this week after a 12-year-old girl was killed by a collapsing "modesty wall" in a changing room. Keane Wallis-Bennett was fatally injured by the free-standing wall at Liberton High in the city on Tuesday. A council spokesman said an inspection in 2012-13 had raised no concerns about the wall but that a full survey would be carried out at the school before it reopened to students. In February, Edinburgh City Council was fined pound;8,000 after a student received serious injuries from falling down a lift shaft at the same school in December 2011.

Teachers' education gets pound;1.7m boost

Up to 1,400 Scottish teachers will be able to take part in new master's-level courses developed by local authorities, universities and private providers. Teachers will be able to benefit from a total of 18 programmes across the country, which are backed by pound;1.7 million in government funding. Education secretary Michael Russell said the programmes announced for the next year would "open doors for hundreds of teachers to undertake high-quality, master's-level professional learning".

Landmark degree decision raises `serious concerns'

A landmark ruling that could allow a man to work as a teacher despite authorities questioning the status of his qualifications has prompted concerns from teaching unions. Science teacher Derek Sturridge was prevented from teaching in Scotland by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) because it believed he did not meet the requirement of having a degree-level qualification. However, he successfully argued in the Court of Session that his graduation from the Royal Society of Chemistry was equivalent to a degree. Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS teaching union, said the organisation had "very serious concerns" about lowering the entry requirements to the GTCS register.

Funding agreed for Fife College project

Financing for a new pound;6 million Fife College building has been agreed in principle by the Scottish Funding Council. The landmark project at the Levenmouth campus will bring secondary school and college education on to the same site and help the institutions implement the Wood commission's recommendations to improve young people's transition into employment. Minister for youth employment Angela Constance said this was "an exciting move for the young women and men of Fife".

Reduced school week brings practical problems

Parents have raised concerns over childcare after the Scottish Borders Council announced plans to move to a four and a half day school week from August 2014. Primary and secondary students at all schools in the council area will spend longer in school from Monday to Thursday but attend for only half a day on a Friday. Glen Rodger, the council's director of education and lifelong learning, said the council had to plan for an education service that best served the needs of all children and young people amid tightening budgets.

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