News at a glance

29th May 2015 at 01:00

FE faces widespread industrial action over pay

Scotland's further education sector could face industrial action on a national scale, it has emerged. The EIS teaching union, which represents college lecturers, has lodged a dispute with employers over pay and warned that after seven months of negotiations without what it considers to be a reasonable pay offer, the dispute could now lead to industrial action. EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan confirmed that colleges had refused to offer a pay increase for lecturers next year. He said: "It is now time for the Scottish government to intervene to ensure a fair pay award for Scotland's FE lecturers and to guarantee a positive start for the new national bargaining mechanism."

Exam issues won't disadvantage pupils, SQA says

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has attempted to reassure pupils and parents after more than 11,000 people signed a petition claiming that this year's Higher maths exam was too difficult and bore "no resemblance" to specimen papers. It called for the SQA to be investigated and for the pass mark to be reduced. Pupils had put "so much preparation into this subject and have now been traumatised", the petition read. The SQA said it was aware of the concerns, adding: "As is the case every year, we do not set the pass mark or the number of marks required for each grade until the marking process is complete, later in the summer. These rigorous processes are in place to ensure that no one will be disadvantaged."

Staff go above and beyond by a third, survey finds

Teachers work 33 per cent above their contractual 35 hours per week, according to a survey by the EIS teaching union. Members recorded their working hours over a two-week period. The results show that during that time teachers worked an average of 46.5 hours, despite 35 hours being the weekly contractual limit. Primary teachers spent 9.3 hours on preparation and correction, compared with secondary colleagues' 8.5 hours. According to the survey, teachers spent 3.4 hours a week on planning in primaries and 2.5 hours in secondaries.

Classics students to boost literacy through Latin

The University of Glasgow has launched a course training Classics students to help school pupils improve their literacy by learning Latin. The Literacy Through Latin programme has been running for two years but the university is now formalising the scheme. Undergraduate students will start working in schools from October, each teaching one hour-long class per week throughout the year, introducing pupils to Latin language, grammar and culture. According to the university, studies have shown that Latin can improve literacy levels in English and can help young people to learn foreign languages.

Glasgow exhibition combines science and German

A free interactive exhibition combining German and science has opened at the Glasgow Science Centre. It is aimed at students from S2 to S5, and has been organised by the Goethe-Institut and Glasgow City of Science partnership. It focuses on the four elements - water, fire, earth and air - and combines learning German with the topic of environmental protection. Cross-curricular resources and workshops are also available. The exhibition runs until 9 June. For more information, visit bit.lyScienceGerman

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