Academics at Stirling University have this week hit out at the Scottish government’s plans to introduce national tests in literacy and numeracy, saying these could “undermine” the new curriculum. They have also criticised the government for failing to come up with “a clear rationale” for the changes proposed in the draft National Improvement Framework. In a written submission to the Scottish Parliament’s education committee, the academics said: “If not research-based, or borrowed as a successful model from elsewhere, what has informed this design?”
Eight Glasgow schools will harness energy from the sun to help the city cut its energy bills and carbon emissions. A report to Glasgow City Council’s executive committee said the initial investment in solar energy equipment would be paid off within eight years by the energy generated, and the scheme would save around £60,000 a year for the city over 20 years. In 2012, St Benedict’s Primary School had solar photovoltaic panels installed on its roof and it has exceeded its predicted energy outputs by 11 per cent per year. After the success of this first “solar school”, officials decided to investigate further installations.
A new book created to promote the importance of play and improve child development has been launched by the children’s minister, Aileen Campbell. Play This Way will be given to all eight-year-olds in Scotland in the new year and every library will receive copies. Ms Campbell said: “It is important to continue to encourage children to play and use their imagination as they grow older, and I hope this book will do just that.”
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition has called on the Scottish government to take urgent action to ensure that health boards achieve waiting time targets for access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). New figures for July to September show that just 73 per cent of young people were seen within the 18-week time limit, well short of the government’s 90 per cent goal.