News at a glance

5th December 2014 at 00:00

Nicola Sturgeon ups the intensity on attainment

The attainment of schoolchildren is to be a key focus of government plans under first minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured, right). Proposals include a new P1-3 literacy and numeracy campaign, building on the Play, Talk, Read initiative in early years. Education Scotland will also appoint an "attainment adviser" for each local authority, adding "increased intensity and priority" to existing efforts to raise standards. The government reiterated its support for existing programmes such as 1+2, which seeks to give children a working knowledge of two foreign languages by the end of primary school. And it introduced a bill aimed at improving children's rights and Gaelic education. The legislation would also ensure that teachers in independent schools were registered through the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Song commemorates wall collapse pupil

Friends of an Edinburgh pupil who was killed when a wall collapsed at her school have written and recorded a song as a tribute. Keane Wallis-Bennett died on 1 April when a free-standing partition wall at Liberton High School fell on top of her as she changed after a PE lesson. Keane's Song was released on Monday. It is hoped that the tribute will raise money for a memorial garden at the school.

Teacher struck off after indecent images conviction

A former teacher at a prestigious Moray boarding school has been barred from the profession after being convicted of six counts of making indecent photographs of children. Samuel Henley, who taught maths at Gordonstoun School from 2009 to 2010 and lives in Liverpool, was struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland's fitness to teach panel. Henley received a two-year conditional discharge in a trial at Chester Crown Court in February.

A third of children are at risk of obesity, survey reveals

Almost a third of children in Scotland may have serious weight issues, according to the annual Scottish Health Survey (bit.lySurveyHealth). The figures, based on interviews with nearly 7,000 adults and children, show that 28.8 per cent of young people are at risk of becoming overweight or obese. Children are still not eating enough fruit and vegetables, with just 13 per cent getting their recommended five portions a day. But the survey also suggests that there has been an increase in the number eating oily fish regularly, and a decrease in the number eating chips more than twice a week.

Relaunched teacher body aims at `broader appeal'

The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland has been relaunched under a new name. The organisation, which will now be known as Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice (Step), promises to have "a much broader appeal", with membership open to all teachers. "Now that the chartered teacher scheme has ended, we felt our organisation needed to look to the future and become more inclusive," said chair Andrina Inglis. An annual conference will be held in Stirling on Saturday 21 March, with the theme of "partnerships". For more information, visit

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