A week in
Parents will be able to see their children’s test results and a wide range of other information about their progress in school, education secretary Angela Constance has said. She spoke at the launch of a document by National Parent Forum of Scotland, which will provide information on the National Improvement Framework. The framework includes controversial plans for national assessments in primary school. Ms Constance said that parents would have access to more information about their children’s education than ever before.
Twelve primary school buildings across Scotland will be replaced thanks to millions of pounds in government funding. The £230 million fund, which will pay for rebuilds of a total of 19 schools, is the final stage of the £1.8 billion Schools for the Future programme. EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Following many years of underinvestment in Scotland’s school estate, we have seen a substantial and successful programme of school building and refurbishment in recent years.” But the Scottish Greens’ education spokeswoman, Isla O’Reilly, said that investment inside schools was urgent, given rising class sizes and teachers “at breaking point with chronic workloads”.
Only around 5 per cent of Scotland’s schools were inspected last year, leading to calls from the Scottish Conservatives for more regular inspections. Some 137 of the country’s 2,543 schools were inspected in 2014-15, the response to a parliamentary question from the party shows. That compares with a high point of 491 in 2004-05. “Parents are not getting the data and information they need,” said Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson.
The quality of early learning and childcare in Inverclyde has been highlighted in a report to the council. More than half of the 19 settings earned either “very good” or “excellent” Care Inspectorate ratings for care and support, environment, staffing and management and leadership. Education vice-convener Martin Brennan said that almost all establishments were “well above national performance”, following “significant” local investment in the early years.
Old bagpipes are being collected in an “amnesty” that will allow children from deprived areas to learn the instrument. The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust wants to show that “piping can change lives for the better”. It is giving free tuition to more than 1,000 pupils in schools across Scotland – many in the poorest areas – but it needs more bagpipes. Chief executive Alexandra Duncan said: “It is a shame that the vast majority of our young people are not offered the chance to learn our national instruments in schools.” More details are at sspdt.org.uk