News at a glance

14th November 2014 at 00:00

Pressed for time? There's an app for that

A new app has been created to help teachers manage their time. The Workload Calculator, developed by the EIS teaching union, enables its members to record the time spent on tasks such as teaching, marking and other administration. The app is part of the union's ongoing Make Time for Teaching campaign, which was launched last year amid growing concern from members over excessive workloads and unnecessary bureaucracy. The EIS said the data gathered by the program would be used as evidence in future negotiations on working time agreements. For more information, visit bit.lyWorkloadApp

Fife primary teacher removed from register

A Fife primary teacher who admitted to taking heroin and housebreaking has been taken off the teaching register. Vanessa Law, 32, asked the General Teaching Council for Scotland to remove her name after confessing to using the Class A drug and participating in a break-in. She also admitted to stealing petrol from several garages in Fife and Glasgow during 2012. The regulator's fitness to teach panel directed that Ms Law should be prohibited from applying to rejoin the register for two years.

Applications open for new shutdown panel

Candidates are being recruited to a new panel that will take responsibility for controversial school closures. The group will consider shutdowns proposed by the Scottish government and decide whether to approve them or not. People of all professions and backgrounds are urged to apply to join the 10-strong team, which is being established in a bid to improve transparency and autonomy. Knowledge of the education sector or regulatory systems would be "useful", but the government stresses that "full training" will be given to all successful candidates. The panel will start work next spring. Further details are available at bit.lyPanelVacancies

Careers advice is redundant

The careers service is failing to adequately assist students in making choices and has "undermined the efforts of schools and colleges", according to Colleges Scotland. In evidence presented to the Scottish Parliament, the body said that unless young people were given better information about the routes available to them, vocational education would always be considered "a lesser option". Careers services needed to "engage with colleges so they in turn can support school leaders and teachers who inform pupils about vocational qualifications", it added.

Cash-strapped science budgets cost teachers

Pupils in Scottish state schools do not have the science equipment and resources they need for Curriculum for Excellence, according to a teacher survey published this week. Researchers found that 98 per cent of secondary and primary schools relied on external funding to support practical science, with teachers commonly contributing their own money. More than 80 per cent of secondaries doubted they had enough equipment to deliver practical science work effectively over the next two years, and 45 per cent of primary teachers said they lacked safety equipment. The research, by the Learned Societies' Group on Scottish Science Education, was based on responses from 85 primary and secondary schools.

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