News at a glance
`Stress' prompts review of new Nationals
Teachers, students and parents are being asked for their views on how the new National qualifications have been implemented in an attempt to improve the way they are delivered in future. The Curriculum for Excellence management board is setting up a working group to "reflect" on the first year of the new National 4 and 5 qualifications. The group has been established against a background of union warnings of "unprecedented" stress levels among staff and students produced by the changed curriculum. Members will include union leaders, education directors and parent representatives. They will provide feedback to schools before the summer holidays in the hope of sharing best practice for next year.
Edinburgh students go professional
A Scottish college students association has become the first in the country to employ a permanent manager after negotiating a groundbreaking new funding package. Edinburgh College Students' Association (ECSA) has just signed a deal securing the biggest financial award of its kind, allowing the group to pay for a full-time manager to help give students in Scotland's capital greater influence over their education. The Scottish government said the agreement was in line with recent controversial Scottish college reforms aimed at putting students at the centre of decision-making. ECSA was established after mergers led to the creation of Edinburgh College in October 2012.
Arts hubs will give youth `reasons to stay'
Young people are to be encouraged to create their own cultural and commercial opportunities in the arts with the help of a pound;3.1 million grant from arts body Creative Scotland. The money has been given to nine newly established Youth Arts Hubs. Young people will play an active part in developing the hubs, which are aimed at encouraging children to get involved in the arts from as early an age as possible, as well as giving young people reasons to stay and work in their communities. They will create a 10-year vision of how artistic activities can support jobs in the area.
Cabinet focus on education-to-work transition
The minister for youth employment has been promoted to the Scottish Cabinet to lead work aimed at ensuring that young people can move more easily from education into employment. Angela Constance has been given "full policy responsibility" for adopting recommendations from the Wood commission on improving the transition from school, college and university into the workplace. She was one of two female ministers awarded Cabinet roles by First Minister Alex Salmond at the last SNP conference before the independence referendum - prompting critics to brand the move as a last-ditch attempt to woo women voters.
Lib Dems question supply provision
Spending on supply teachers fell by nearly pound;18 million between 2010-11 and 2012-13, according to figures released to the Scottish Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information Act. Education spokesman Liam McArthur said that supply teachers were an invaluable part of the education system and questioned whether the fall in spending was good news. The drop was at least in part down to fewer staff being available to work, he said. "With the number of full-time teaching staff also in decline, parents will wonder whether this will see regular teachers being asked to take on more responsibilities at a time of major change with the curriculum."