News at a glance
Government gives young entrepreneurs a cash boost
First minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured, right) has announced pound;327,000 in funding for schools to promote entrepreneurial activity among students. The initiative, named Enterprising Schools, will also introduce a rating system to assess institutions' entrepreneurial activity. Seven schools have been selected as exemplars and will develop partnerships with a range of organisations. At the launch of the scheme, Ms Sturgeon said that the education sector had a crucial role to play in shaping the next generation of Scottish entrepreneurs, and that the initiative would equip pupils with the skills and mindsets required to succeed in business.
Regulator backs elite schools' current charity test
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has said that the current charities test, which is applied to Scottish independent schools, is fit for purpose. The comments were made by Martin Tyson, OSCR's head of registration, as he presented evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee. He was responding to a petition launched by student Ashley Husband Powton, which calls for the charitable status of independent schools to be removed. Mr Tyson said that although a number of schools had initially failed the charities test, OSCR "had the opportunity to do something about it" by suggesting changes that allowed them to pass.
Council plans to cut hot meals and breakfast clubs
Only days after the free school meal entitlement was extended to all P1-3 pupils in Scotland, West Dunbartonshire Council has set out proposals to stop serving hot lunches on Fridays. Under the plans, pupils will instead receive a sandwich and salad or fruit on a Friday and have only one hot meal option from Monday to Thursday. The council needs to save pound;17 million over the next three years and its cost-cutting ideas include reducing the primary-school timetable by two and a half hours per week, streamlining the S5 and S6 timetable to reduce staffing requirements and closing breakfast clubs.
New team to take a closer look at school buildings
The Scottish government has established a new body to review how the condition of school buildings is assessed. The group, made up of representatives from a range of public and private organisations, will look at all aspects of the existing guidance on assessing the condition of schools. It will make its recommendations to ministers by the autumn. Education secretary Angela Constance said the government wanted to ensure that all children and young people "learn in good-quality schools that are safe and fit for purpose".
Three-day strike under way at Ayrshire College
Lecturers at two Ayrshire College campuses went on strike this week over planned changes to their working conditions. The staff, who are members of the EIS-FELA further education union, began three days of strike action at the Kilwinning and Nethermains campuses on Tuesday. The college said that the disputed proposals had been negotiated with the union in a "series of constructive meetings in the days leading up to the festive break". A spokesperson added: "It is very disappointing that a small group of lecturers has chosen to continue strike action that may impact negatively on some students' learning experience."