A week in
Local authorities body Cosla reacted angrily after the Scottish government sought to make 25 hours teaching time mandatory in primary schools. Highland Council had moved to reduce the P4-7 school week to 22.5 hours by making Friday a half-day. Scottish Labour and the government both lodged amendments to the Education Bill, attempting to block such plans. Cosla education spokeswoman Stephanie Primrose said: “It’s political opportunism…there is not any evidence which links better education attainment to a 25-hour school week.” The issue went before the Scottish Parliament’s education and culture committee this week.
A West Dunbartonshire teacher has won an annual prize for Scotland’s best Bachelor of Education assignment. Kirsty McLaren, from Gartocharn Primary School in Alexandria, won the George D Gray Award on 9 December. Ms McLaren graduated with a first-class degree from the University of Dundee in June. Her winning dissertation explored attitudes of children, parents and teachers towards the expressive arts.
The Scottish government has published its response to Professor Iram Siraj’s review of the early learning and childcare and out-of-school care workforce (bit.ly/SirajResponse). EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said that it provided “some welcome reassurance” that the government placed “a high degree of importance” on the use of qualified teachers throughout the nursery sector. There was a similarly positive reaction from Voice Scotland, which represents many early-years workers. But senior professional officer Jennifer Barnes added that the union’s recent survey of nursery staff identified that wages “do not reflect their skills and responsibilities”.
A new exhibition at Glasgow Science Centre draws on the knowledge of 50 experts from the energy sector to help pupils get their heads round the future of renewables. Powering the Future, which opened at the venue this week, builds on an existing P2-4 educational programme involving the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, Whitelee in East Renfrewshire.
Henry Hepburn (@Henry_Hepburn)