The number of primary teachers forgoing their right to choose where they worked during their probation year rose sharply in 2015-16. Some 172 opted for the “preference waiver” – in return for a payment of £6,000 – up from 137 in 2014-15. Secondary probationers allocated to schools via the preference waiver fell from 235 to 230. The scheme is designed to help remote and rural councils struggling with recruitment. Aberdeenshire took 86 probationers through the system in 2015-16, more than any other council.
An Edinburgh independent school has provided three fully paid places for Syrian refugee children. It is the first time since the First World War that George Heriot’s School has offered places specifically for refugees. The bursary is named after Dimitry Dulkanovic, one of 27 Serbian boys taken in by the school after fleeing violence in 1916. He died in 1995 and is said to have asked to be buried in his school tie. The new bursary has been highlighted by the UNCHR, the UN refugee agency, at bit.ly/GHrefugees
There were twice as many racist incidents in Scottish primaries than in secondaries between 2011-12 and 2015-16, new figures suggest. A Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, which received responses from 26 of 32 councils, reveals that about 2,000 racist incidents occurred in primaries and 1,000 in secondaries. The party’s education spokesman Tavish Scott said the figures showed “some progress” had been made since 2011. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said that the finding was “shocking, but unfortunately not surprising”.
The headteacher of a Glasgow primary ransacked by vandals has thanked the many people and businesses who offered donations and help to clean up £10,000 worth of damage. “This kind of generosity restores your faith in the human spirit,” said John Daly, head of Gowanbank Primary. The vandals did not steal anything but damaged every room in the building. Those wishing to donate can visit the school’s fundraising page at bit.ly/Gowanbank