Government increases Modern Apprentice target
Thousands of people in Scotland will be offered apprenticeships as trade unions warn that the current programme does not help enough ethnic minority workers, disabled people or women. First Minister Alex Salmond has increased the target for Modern Apprenticeships from 25,000 per year to 30,000 by 2020. He pledged that under independence an SNP government would use its increased powers to improve childcare and promote female staff to management positions. The Scottish Trades Union Congress welcomed an extra pound;4 million from the government to fund more training for union members. It said the investment was especially needed to help women and minority groups, who it warned were being failed under the current programme which "suffered from gender stereotyping".
`Unsafe' and `unsure' teacher struck off
A primary school teacher has been removed from the professional register after admitting that she did not know how to deliver Curriculum for Excellence to pupils. Jan Holden, a class teacher at Dirleton Primary School in East Lothian, told the headteacher that she was "unsure" what CfE involved and "did not know" what she was meant to be covering in class. The General Teaching Council for Scotland said that Ms Holden failed to address the issue between October 2011 and January 2012 despite receiving training and support. She also failed to keep pupils safe, putting them at risk of tripping over furniture, and texted class records to colleagues instead of completing proper written reports.
Boost for oversubscribed training programmes
Teacher training places in the Highlands and Islands will double this year as the Scottish government continues to hand funding decisions to regional institutions to help meet local demand. The number of teaching students at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) will rise to 40 as the body takes on responsibility for college funding in the region. From next year, the UHI will also offer teacher training in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, following similar arrangements with other local authorities. Applications in the region have outnumbered places available by five to one.
Aberdeen nursery to close after poor inspection
An independent school nursery has been given the worst assessment possible by Scotland's standards watchdog. The Care Inspectorate branded the Aberdeen Waldorf School kindergarten "unsatisfactory" across the board, from care and support to the quality of the environment, staffing, management and leadership. Inspectors, who visited unannounced last month, said the service provided was not good enough. The school and nursery were already set to close this summer following complaints about the standard of care and education.
Edinburgh carer wins Princess Diana Award
An innovative version of Monopoly has been created to help young carers deal with everyday challenges. Edinburgh College student Zoe Croy changed the focus of the world-famous game from building a property empire to overcoming daily issues, with chance cards reflecting typical situations such as how to pay for hospital parking. The 18-year-old, who looks after her mother and is studying vehicle maintenance and repairs, developed the game with another student while volunteering at a young carers project. It has now received a national Diana Award, which recognises inspirational young people, after the game was used to help pupils at primary and high schools across Edinburgh.