News at a glance

21st August 2015 at 01:00

Headteacher shortage blamed on high workload

The EIS teaching union has said that workload issues across the education system are partly to blame for the high number of headteacher vacancies in Scotland. The comments came after figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through a Freedom of Information request showed that there were 51 headteacher vacancies in primary schools and seven in secondary schools. EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said the union's health and well-being survey last year highlighted that the burden of workload - in particular bureaucratic form-filling and poor worklife balance - was increasingly making headship posts unattractive to potential candidates.

Rise in Scots securing university places

The number of students living in Scotland who secured a university place on A-level results day was up by 3 per cent on last year. A total of 28,130 young people from Scotland had a confirmed place at university when England's exam results were announced last week - 790 more than at the same point in 2014, according to figures from the university admissions service Ucas. This means an additional 3,300 students have found a place since Scottish results day on 4 August. Education secretary Angela Constance said the figures were "further positive news for Scottish students and stand Scottish education in very good stead".

Two-year gulf in teaching time identified

The total hours of teaching children receive varies hugely across Scotland, with some getting two years less state education than their peers in other parts of the country. Aberdeenshire and West Dunbartonshire councils offer 1,000 hours per year in primary school and 1,100 hours per year in secondary school, research by thinktank Reform Scotland shows. But Moray, Dundee and Midlothian offer just over 850 hours of secondary teaching. Overall, the figures show a variance of more than 1,000 hours across the seven years of primary school and more than 1,200 hours across the six years of secondary school.

Read, Write, Count campaign launched in primary

A scheme to improve literacy and numeracy among children of early primary age has been launched by the Scottish government. The Read, Write, Count campaign, aimed at children in P1-3, will encourage parents and families to learn with their children in everyday life. The initiative will be delivered with Education Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust, and will build on the Play, Talk, Read early years campaign. Children will be given free books through their schools, as well as literacy and numeracy resources, which will be available for English- and Gaelic-medium education. Find out more at

Students excel at Sao Paolo WorldSkills contest

Three Scottish college students have won medallions of excellence at the WorldSkills competition in Brazil, which concluded earlier this week. Mikaela Wright of City of Glasgow College, who competed in patisserie and confectionery category, and Andrew Beel and Richard Miller from New College Lanarkshire, who competed respectively in mechanical engineering CAD and IT network administration, excelled at the contest in Sao Paolo. A total of 1,000 competitors from 60 countries took part, with Team UK securing three gold, four silver and two bronze medals, as well as an Albert Vidal Award and 24 medallions of excellence.

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