Campaigners have criticised the government for failing to include an early years expert on its new international panel of education advisers. It was “a serious omission” said Sue Palmer (pictured), who is spearheading a campaign to raise the school starting age, in an open letter to the Education Secretary, John Swinney. Ms Palmer – the author of Toxic Childhood: how the modern world is damaging our children – called for at least one more expert to be appointed to the panel. The government announced the 10 members of its International Council of Education Advisors last week (see page 15 for more).
The introduction of the Named Person Scheme in Scotland could be delayed because of legal action. Education secretary John Swinney wants to wait for the UK Supreme Court’s ruling on the legislation before giving the go ahead. The scheme, which will assign a professional person to everyone under 18, was due to start from 31 August. However, if the judgement is not made by the end of the month, that date will be put back.
Multiple attacks by vandals on a Glasgow primary school have caused £100,000 of damage. The perpetrators, believed to be former pupils, have smashed windows, set fires in the playground and broken into a garden and vandalised equipment during the break-ins at St Catherine’s Primary. Staff and pupils are said to be “absolutely devastated” by the damage caused. Headteacher Donna McKay said her pupils’ school experience is being “ruined”.
Some 263 million children worldwide do not go to school, posing a daunting hurdle to the United Nations’ efforts to offer education to all children by 2030, the UN’s cultural agency Unesco reported last week. The number is “staggering”, yet marks an improvement from 2000, when some 374 million children did not attend school, it said. Many of the children out of school live in areas of conflict or are girls living in societies that do not advocate educating women.