Poor families are facing a learning ‘levy’ of extra costs, which causes children from deprived homes to feel excluded at school, it has been claimed. Amid concerns about deepening child poverty, the Child Poverty Action Group is calling for the Scottish government to increase child benefit by £5 per week and tackle financial barriers to learning caused by the cost of school books, transport, uniforms, lunches and trips.
A Moray primary teacher has been struck off after failing to report to her headteacher that a pupil had brought a knife into school. Jane Callister, who was working at Elgin’s Seafield Primary, returned the knife to the boy’s family home and spoke to him there. Between December 2014 and June 2015, she also sent several social-media messages to the pupil’s father and invited the pupil to her home. The General Teaching Council for Scotland found that her conduct was “fundamentally incompatible” with being a teacher.
Funding for school projects to improve attainment has been more than doubled to £3.5 million, education secretary John Swinney has announced. The Innovation Fund was launched in January to provide grants of up to £10,000 to schools for “creative and innovative” projects to boost pupils’ skills. More than 400 schools will benefit from 219 projects to improve attainment, specifically around literacy and numeracy, Mr Swinney said. It comes as part of the government plans to significantly close the attainment gap in the next five years.
Nearly 2,000 children in Renfrewshire in early primary will continue to receive a free school meal over the summer holidays. The council’s Families First Summer Activity Camps are open to P1, 2 and 3 children who are entitled to school-clothing grants, plus their brothers or sisters if they are still at primary school. The hot meal element of the camps – which offer activities such as athletics, football, golf, archery, and a range of arts and crafts – was introduced in 2013.