News at a glance
Inquiry called into past abuse of children in care
A public inquiry will be held into historical cases of abuse of children in care in Scotland, education secretary Angela Constance has announced. The full details of who will conduct the investigation and its exact remit will be confirmed by the end of April after consultation with victims. The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland will provide logistical support and expert advice to the inquiry, which will have the power to compel witnesses to give evidence. Ms Constance said the move would "shine a light on the darkest recesses of our recent history".
Bid to ban teaching of creationism fails
An attempt to outlaw the teaching of creationism in schools has been rejected by the Scottish government. Creationism was not identified as a scientific theory or topic within Curriculum for Excellence, the government said, but it refused to ban discussion of the theory altogether. The Scottish Secular Society, which submitted the petition, argued that the response suggested the government was willing to "openly endorse the teaching and discussion of creationism in what they call `context' but.unwilling to explicitly state it is forbidden even in the science class". The EIS teaching union had previously spoken against the petition. It argued that discussions of the topic were more suited to religious and moral education classes than science but it was not convinced of the merits of "legislative interference".
School-leaver unemployment hits 10-year low
More school-leavers than ever are moving into employment, training or education, according to a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) report. Some 92.3 per cent entered "positive destinations" in 2013-14, a rise of 0.9 per cent on the previous year. The number reported as being unemployed and seeking employment or training fell from 7.1 per cent to 6.3 per cent, its lowest level in 10 years. SDS chief executive Damien Yeates said that pupils should speak to employers regularly in order to be more clued up about the world of work.
Scots language ambassadors sought for schools
An appeal has been issued for confident Scots speakers in Glasgow to help promote the language in schools. The volunteer ambassadors would be expected to work with schools for three years. Some have already confirmed their involvement, including members of children's entertainers The Singing Kettle, BBC Radio Scotland's Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton and award-winning author James Robertson. "We want to celebrate and publicise good practice in Scots education and demonstrate that it is appropriate to be used in formal school and other contexts," said Education Scotland's Scots language coordinator Dr Simon Hall.
LGBT group welcomes new relationships guidance
The Scottish government's revised guidance on relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RSHP) education in schools has been welcomed by LGBT Youth Scotland. The organisation said the update was an improvement on a 2001 version and explicitly outlined the needs and experiences of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Alasdair Allan, minister for learning, science and Scotland's languages, said the purpose of RSHP education was "to teach children and young people to have respect for themselves and others". He added that the revised guidance reflected changes that had taken place in society since the previous version, as well as changes in law and the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence.