The group set up to address teacher workload and the over-assessment of pupils under the new National qualifications has failed, according to teaching unions. The NASUWT union says that the group – set up by the Scottish government in January – has not managed to tackle the problem of excessive teacher workload. The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association has announced plans to ballot members over the findings of the group, which were due to be published at the end of last month.
Young people who have been in care will be offered a place at university providing they meet the minimum entry requirements, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. The pledge follows the publication of a report from the Commission on Widening Access, which set out a range of measures to ensure that a student’s background is not a barrier to their education. Ms Sturgeon said: “We know that young people who have care experience are six times less likely to go on to higher education than other young people.”
A virtual school is to be created in order to help combat the biggest challenge facing Gaelic education – teacher shortages. The Gaelic language board, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, has announced £140,000 of funding over two years to create a virtual Gaelic school, called E-Sgoil. It aims to create an online learning environment that will connect schools throughout the Western Isles and beyond. It will offer greater quality of subject access for pupils and enable teachers to share lessons and materials.
Pupils’ ability to understand global issues will be enhanced by a £300,000 funding boost for Scotland’s Development Education Centres (DECs). The centres help young people learn about global citizenship. The government funding has been welcomed by major charities, including Oxfam Scotland. Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “While this one year funding commitment is hugely welcome, we believe this should continue throughout the lifetime of the next Parliament.”