A third of students are being bullied, survey finds
One in three Scottish schoolchildren have been bullied in the past school year, according to a survey by anti-bullying service Respectme. The poll of almost 8,000 young people revealed that 60 per cent of incidents happened offline, with only 19 per cent taking place entirely online. More than 90 per cent of the children surveyed said they knew the person who had bullied them. Brian Donnelly, director of Respectme, said the findings "should help schools, parents and the wider community to maintain a focus on all types of bullying, both in person and online".
Ayrshire College staff strike over contract changes
Lecturers at Ayrshire College's North Ayrshire campus went on strike this week over planned changes to their contracts. Members of the EIS teaching union's Further Education Lecturers Association, which represents teaching staff at colleges, have scheduled another day of strike action for next week, with further action to follow in December and January if no agreement is reached with college management. The union said that the proposed imposition of new working arrangements was "simply not acceptable". A spokeswoman for the college said it was difficult to see how the action could be "in the best interests of students".
Scotland's school libraries get Facebook support
A Facebook appeal to save Scotland's school libraries has attracted more than 650 likes in just over a week. The page was set up after a consultation exercise began in East Renfrewshire to explore the possibility of reducing librarians' roles to part-time, with self-service systems and pupil volunteers filling the gaps. The local authority has to make up a budget shortfall of pound;20 million over the next three years and the changes to libraries could save an estimated pound;131,000.
Departing Salmond sets tuition promise in stone
Alex Salmond used his last full day as first minister to reaffirm the government's commitment to free university tuition. At Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Mr Salmond unveiled a carved stone inscribed with his 2011 statement that "rocks would melt with the sun" before he allowed tuition fees to be imposed on Scottish students. Abolishing fees had been "the single biggest achievement" of this government, he said. The commemorative stone was carved and designed by second-year stonemasonry apprentices from Historic Scotland's National Conservation Centre in Elgin.
Get careers advice early to get jobs, minister says
Earlier careers advice is the key to tackling youth unemployment in Scotland, according to the Cabinet secretary for training, youth and women's employment. Speaking to teachers and careers advisers in Glasgow earlier this week, Angela Constance said she was working with Skills Development Scotland and other partners on Sir Ian Wood's recommendation to introduce careers advice earlier in schools, which she argued could help to support more young people in finding jobs. Tackling youth unemployment remained one of the government's key priorities, she said, and although recent statistics showed that progress had been made, there could be "no let-up in our activity".