News at a glance
No university tuition fees under Scottish Labour
Scottish Labour has pledged to keep university tuition north of the border free, only days after Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to cut university tuition fees in England and Wales to pound;6,000 a year by autumn 2016 if his party wins the general election. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy promised that there would be "no university tuition fees in Scotland" under his party, adding that this was part of a larger plan to give better opportunities to children from less advantaged backgrounds, including a pound;125 million fund to close the attainment gap.
pound;6.5m announced for employment initiatives
Each of Scotland's 32 local authorities will receive a portion of pound;6.5 million in Scottish government funding for programmes supporting young people into work. The money will fund initiatives offering vocational and employment pathways for young people, as well as being used to strengthen the links between schools and industry. Announcing the funding for each local authority for 2014-15, Roseanna Cunningham, fair work, skills and training secretary, said the money would give local authorities the "additional resource to tailor activity to local need".
Primaries should have daily milk break, MSP says
An SNP MSP has called for the introduction of free milk breaks to all Scottish primary schools to improve child nutrition and help the Scottish dairy industry. Highland MSP Dave Thompson suggested that children should have a 15- to 20-minute break each day to consume dairy products, which could include yoghurt and cheese. The government said it was up to councils to make a decision on the proposal. Mr Thompson's suggestion came as it was reported that about three-quarters of children in P1 to P3 now take advantage of free school meals. Although the percentage of children eating school meals had doubled in some council areas, others said they would like to see take-up increase further.
Joint Catholic and Jewish campus given approval
Britain's first joint faith campus for Catholic and Jewish communities has been given the go-ahead in East Renfrewshire. The suggested site will become home to a pound;13.6 million campus, which will house a new Catholic primary school, a non-denominational nursery and a building to replace Calderwood Lodge, the existing Jewish primary and nursery. Consultation about the design of the new facilities is ongoing, but although the two schools would share the playground, sports and music facilities, they would have separate pupil entrances, classroom wings and headteachers. The new campus is scheduled to open at the start of the 2017-18 session.
`Shrek' teacher is removed from register
A technological education teacher has been removed from the General Teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) register for swearing at pupils and making rude remarks about them. The GTCS fitness to teach panel found that Michael Rankin had used inappropriate language towards S3 and S4 pupils while working in North Ayrshire between 16 August 2012 and 6 June 2013, including calling one student "fat" and comparing another to Shrek. On one occasion, he had written the word "fatty" on the back of a mirror made by a pupil and shown it to the class. The panel determined that Mr Rankin was unfit to teach.