Lord James concedes forced tests are `alien'
- Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (pictured) set out his stall as the minister for consolidation in his maiden speech to the Catholic Headteachers' Association at Crieff. The new education minister promised to look again at compulsory national primary tests, which he accepted were felt by many parents to be "alien and threatening" - but only after this year's round, which is about to begin against a background of boycott.
Devine warns of `bleak' rolls
- A leading Roman Catholic bishop has warned that Catholic secondary schools are facing "decimation" over the next 10 years because of falling numbers and church attendances. As the church wrestles with its own controversial proposals for closure and reorganisation of Catholic secondaries, Bishop Devine said the statistical outlook was "bleak".
FE gauntlet for `Beyond 2000'
- The further education and training conference sponsored by The TES Scotland and Perth College will see a strong challenge to established positions. William Stubbs, the Scots-born chief executive of the new funding council for English further education colleges, will argue in his keynote address that the distinction between further and higher education will be blurred to the point of invisibility within 10 years.
SPPA seeks new deal on cash for playgroups
- Twenty-five years on and the playgroup movement is still misunderstood and underfunded, say its leaders, even though their central principle - that parental involvement makes a significant difference to a child's education - is now overwhelmingly accepted. Irene Adams, of the Scottish Pre-School Play Association, said there was a widespread assumption that playgroups were the same as nurseries and therefore government-funded.
New blooms in educational desert
- When Britain withdrew in 1966 from Botswana, it left behind one of the world's poorest countries. There were just nine secondary schools and 40 graduates. Since then the number of schools has increased tenfold and literacy has risen from an estimated 30 per cent to 70 per cent.