News at a glance
Education directors due to decide annual budgets
Many of Scotland's local authorities were due to decide on crucial annual budgets as TESS went to press. Their deliberations were widely predicted to be the most difficult of recent times, with education directors having repeatedly warned that there were no more easy cuts to make. The difficulty of pushing ahead with unpopular savings was made clear at the end of last week when West Dunbartonshire Council dropped plans to shorten the primary school week. The council abandoned its idea to start 30 minutes later each day, at 9.30am, after several thousand parents objected.
Ayrshire school praised for rapid improvement
A North Ayrshire secondary school has made "very good progress" since a damning inspection report last February, according to Education Scotland. A report by the body says that effective leadership is helping staff to improve the quality of teaching at Irvine Royal Academy and that better links with the wider community are also proving important. It adds: "We are confident that, under the leadership of the headteacher, the school has the capacity to secure further improvements." A review of the school's progress will be carried out within the next year to decide whether another inspection is needed.
Teacher struck off for smacking pupil's bottom
A Dumfries and Galloway music teacher has been removed from the General Teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) register after smacking an S4 pupil's bottom so hard that she was bruised. Gordon Mundie, who was working at Castle Douglas High School, was also found to have touched another girl's leg and massaged her hands. In both incidents, which took place in January 2011 and February 2012, his actions were found to be sexually motivated. The GTCS fitness to teach panel removed Mr Mundie from the register, noting his "apparent lack of insight and remorse and the serious and sexualised nature of the complaint".
Chinese institute rewards East Dunbartonshire
East Dunbartonshire Council has won the Scottish Confucius Classroom of the Year Award at the annual conference of the Confucius Institute in China. It was chosen as one of eight authorities in Scotland to establish a Confucius Hub for teaching Mandarin. The hub has been extended to include St Ninian's High School, Douglas Academy and their associated primaries. Among other activities, it teaches Mandarin as part of the S1 and S2 curriculum at St Ninian's High and oversees two Chinese teachers working in 20 primaries to teach Chinese language and culture.
New principal appointed for Edinburgh College
Edinburgh College has appointed former Aberdeen education director Annette Bruton as principal. Ms Bruton, pictured, who is currently chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, will take over from interim principal Dr Elaine McMahon, who was brought in when Mandy Exley left in November. The college announced that Ms Bruton would be in post before the start of the next academic year and said she would provide "excellent leadership to steer the college throughout the next crucial period of its development".