A week in primary: 17 November 2017

17th November 2017 at 00:00

Private schools are to be forced by the Scottish government to pay full business rates, it has been reported. In August, the report of the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates stated that it was “unfair” for independent schools to benefit from rates relief through their charitable status. The sector said removing relief would leave it at a “global disadvantage” and less able to provide places to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The government will confirm the outcome later this year.

Concerns have been raised about Armed Forces visits to primary schools and the apparent targeting of pupils in poorer areas. STV News, working with the Forces Watch organisation, reported that the Armed Forces made 927 visits to schools and colleges in 2016-17. Education Scotland confirmed that the Ministry of Defence had requested statistics on deprivation rates in schools in 2015, and had been directed towards publicly available data.

A ceremony to open a joint campus for Catholic and Jewish communities – thought to be the first such site in the world – was held last week. The £17 million campus in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, is home to two primaries, St Clare’s and Calderwood Lodge, and a non-denominational nursery class.

An Edinburgh teacher has launched an initiative to improve education at home and in Rwanda. Kari Spence, a PE specialist at Niddrie Mill Primary, runs charity Together in Sport, Rwanda. She is looking for teachers to take next summer to a school in Rwanda, where pupils live under the shadow of the 1994 genocide. For details, email kari@togetherinsportrwanda.org

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