Argyll and Bute Council has dropped plans to slash numbers of additional support needs (ASN) assistants. As part of a plan to save £18 million over two years, it had proposed cutting the ASN budget by 45 per cent and axing 72 ASN assistants, saving £1.4 million. Instead, better assessment of children’s needs and improved allocation of ASN assistant hours will achieve the desired savings.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has expressed doubt over whether the National Improvement Framework can improve overall attainment while also closing the gap between the richest and poorest children (bit.ly/RSEframework). Its concerns centre around plans for standardised national assessment at P1, P4, P7 and S3. The RSE is “in principle supportive” of the Scottish government’s plan to devise a system to monitor school performance. But it is concerned by a lack of detail from ministers about how it will avoid “unintended consequences”, such as school league tables and teaching to the test.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has promised a £6 million fund to support children from less well-off families. Nurseries would receive an extra £300 for every child from the poorest backgrounds, with 20,000 three- and four-year-olds to benefit. Ms Dugdale says the scheme would be funded by establishing a 50p top rate of income tax for high earners in Scotland.
A series of Christmas card designs by Edinburgh school pupils has gone on display in the city. Hundreds of pupils entered a competition and the winning designs can be seen on digital advertising screens at bus shelters. The winners were Greta Wallace (9, Wardie Primary), Becky Main (10, Broomhouse Primary) and Mara O’Kane (7, Gylemuir Primary).
Henry Hepburn (@Henry_Hepburn)