External exams may be scrapped
Key Scottish Executive advisers are considering scrapping some external exams in favour of better moderated internal assessment, overturning a century or more of Scottish tradition. Problems recruiting enough markers for the burgeoning number of Higher Still courses have forced planners to think the previously unthinkable. Courses for university entrance could retain external testing but lower levels might be scrapped.
Discord on pay heads for tribunal
Music instructors currently playing second fiddle to teacher colleagues are set to mount a mass level case to win what they believe is a just pay rise. The country's 700 instructors, along with advisers and psychologists, have received no pay increase following the post-McCrone agreement and are the only local authority workers not to have their salaries upped.
Anti-drugs drive targets P1
Five-year-olds and pupils with special needs are to be targeted in the next phase of the Scottish Executive's fight against drugs - despite doubts expressed by teachers. This follows an independent evaluation of the primary school initiative by the Scottish Council for Research in Education, which shows that the drugs programme had a positive impact on the abilities of heads and teachers to handle drug education.
Zero tolerance for attacks on staff
Staff should own up if they suffer at the hands of violent pupils, West Dunbartonshire says. In new guidelines, the definition of violence has been extended to cover "any incident which causes a person stress, humiliation or physical hurt". This is to encourage staff who may be under pressure to regard an incident as "trivial" to come forward.
Hole in one on the big day
The golfer Colin Montgomerie, who has course problems of his own at present, has offered top tips to beat stress and help pupils succeed in their exams. "When you're stressed, you're stuffed. I practise every shot in my head until I know I can do it," Scotland's top golfer advises in a new motivational publication aimed at pushing students towards success.