A week in
Early years teachers make a contribution of “significant value” to Scotland’s nursery schools and classes, a report reveals. The survey, conducted by the Child’s Curriculum Group for the EIS teaching union, underlines the value of employing registered teachers in preschool settings at a time when their numbers are declining. A draft summary of the study shows that nursery teachers have expertise that provides a bridge between nursery and primary education and that they make an “essential contribution” to leadership.
Plans for standardised national tests in P1, P4, P7 and S3 have been met with a mixed response from the public, a report finds. It says that 29 per cent of those questioned agree with the principle of standardised assessment, while 49 per cent have mixed feelings and 16 per cent disagree. Many of the 265 people surveyed felt that making data available nationally would lead to schools feeling pressure to climb up the league tables, rather than using it to identify the needs of individual pupils.
The Scottish government needs to rethink plans to make 25-hour weeks mandatory in primary schools, Highland Council has said. Its education chair, Drew Millar, said that most Highland primaries had always operated a 22.5-hour week in P1-3 to make life easier for children who travelled long distances. The council claimed that the policy would require more than 30 extra teachers at a time when it was already difficult to recruit, and cost at least £2 million.
A scheme that encourages parents to interact with their young children has enjoyed unprecedented popularity this year. PlayTalkRead reached a record number of new families in 2015, notching up 179,991 visits to its website, up 46 per cent on 2014. The three PlayTalkRead touring play buses went to 10 per cent more venues and were visited by some 27,000 people. This was the first year that Bertie, the sensory play bus for children with disabilities or emotional and behavioural difficulties, played a full part in the scheme after a successful 2014 trial.