Donaldson signals firmer role for HMI
- Schools will have a new inspection regime from next year which will help HMI comply with the First Minister's order that it should come to the aid of "struggling" schools. Graham Donaldson, the new senior chief inspector of education, also wants HMI to support teachers' professional growth, spending more time with them during an inspection and "demystifying" the process.
Heads want cash
- Secondary heads are demanding more direct funding and less financial interference from education directors. A study found that the budgets of similar-sized schools can vary by as much as #163;340,000. That can translate into an extra 12 teachers.
- Culture minister Mike Watson was the latest bearer of additional funds for schools when he announced another #163;1.5 million to extend the cultural coordinator scheme until 2006. It was launched as a two-year pilot in May, There are over 100 coordinators in 31 of the 32 authorities (Argyll and Bute has not signed up). Mr Watson stressed the importance of the arts and culture to pupils' confidence and creativity.
Highlands to train teachers at home
- Teacher training is poised to take root across the Highlands after an agreement between the University of Aberdeen and the local authority to tackle growing staff shortages. A two-year, part-time postgraduate course for primary English-medium and Gaelic-medium teachers is to begin next September. A "radically different" arrangement would mean aspiring teachers not having to uproot their family and home.
You can't beat the bullies
- Schools can do no more than reduce bullying by half, even if they do everything right, Andrew Mellor, head of the Anti-Bullying Network at the University of Edinburgh, advised heads. Research showed that when teachers were proactive and introduced anti-bullying policies involving everyone in the school, they still failed to eliminate all forms of bullying.
Sex lessons 'to beat slump'
- Asian sexologists have called for more sexual education to beat the economic slump. If people have sex more often, they will be happier and more motivated to work, explained Emil Man-Lun Ng, president of the Asian Federation for Sexology.