A week in

18th December 2015 at 00:00

The EIS teachers’ union has backed financial penalties for councils that miss targets on teacher numbers. Figures showed last week that 10 councils had fewer teachers than at the same time last year, despite the Scottish government warning that they risked losing a share of £51 million.

Local authorities body Cosla said that it was “totally disinterested in these numbers”, adding that it found it “increasingly embarrassing that we continue to focus so hard on delivering a target which is so educationally irrelevant”.

But EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “There is simply no logic in the argument from Cosla that councils should be allowed to keep this funding and spend it as they see fit – it was allocated for one purpose, and that was to maintain teacher numbers.”

A North Ayrshire school’s breakfast club been named as the best in Scotland. The club at St Winning’s Primary in Kilwinning launched 18 months ago but has evolved into a bigger family unit. As part of the club, older pupils help younger children with homework, reading and creating Lego constructions.

Headteacher Claire Milson said that the club had improved attendance and had a “profound effect” on learning. The school won £1,500, which paid for a Christmas cinema trip, as well as more Lego for the club. The award was part of the long-running Kellogg’s breakfast club programme.

Glasgow is running a philosophy competition for P7s, inspired by Plato’s teachings on reasoning and scepticism. Three entrants will earn £1,000 and a bust of Plato for their school. Sadie Docherty, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, said children thought “very deeply” about rights and wrongs in the world and the contest was a “wonderful opportunity” to share what matters to them.

Pupils at a West Dunbartonshire primary are launching a campaign to demand that wealthy governments ensure every child gets an education. P7s at St Eunan’s primary in Clydebank will organise an assembly next month with Amal Azzudin and Roza Salih, two of the Glasgow schoolgirls who in 2005 famously campaigned against dawn raids on failed asylum seekers when children are involved. The St Eunan’s children are delivering speeches at other schools and gaining signatures for a petition that they plan to deliver to the Scottish Parliament.

A team led by the University of Glasgow’s School of Education has won a prestigious international prize after investigating how picture books boost immigrant children’s literacy skills and help them to reflect on migration. The team’s book, Visual Journeys Through Wordless Narratives, won the Edward B Fry award from the Literacy Research Association of the United States.


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