A week in

27th May 2016 at 00:00

Coding, web development and digital animation are just some of the after-school activities that could benefit from a new fund. The £250,000 Digital Xtra fund, developed by Skills Development Scotland and a number of other bodies, aims to tackle the shortage of students with an interest in computing science. Organisations can bid for grants of £500 to £50,000 per project. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 17 June. For more details, visit bit.ly/DigitalXtra

Scotland’s new education secretary has been forced to defend his government’s plans to introduce national testing after it emerged that the assessments could be up to an hour long. Just days into the job, John Swinney was also grilled about the impact that the new literacy and numeracy tests would have on teachers’ workloads. Responding to the National Parent Forum’s concerns that the assessments would take too long, Mr Swinney said that they would be “age appropriate”. He added that decisions on whether the tests would be marked by teachers would vary “from age to age”.

A leading paediatrician is calling on the Scottish government to do more to improve children’s health, highlighting a 50 per cent increase in the number of young people hospitalised in a decade. Dr Steve Turner, Scotland officer for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has criticised the lack of attention paid to child health by the Scottish National Party, in the context of the problems of poverty, obesity and infant death.

Glasgow primary schools are protecting themselves from future energy price hikes by installing solar panels, according to council leader Frank McAveety. Eight of the city’s primaries now have solar photovoltaic panels on their roofs. A pilot scheme in 2012 at St Benedict’s Primary resulted in the school exceeding its predicted energy outputs by 11 per cent a year. The panels on the primary schools are expected to save £60,000 a year over 13 years and carbon savings will be about 130 tons per year.

Emma Seith (@TESScotland)

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