Sir Tom Devine, widely regarded as Scotland’s leading historian, has called for greater support for teachers, arguing that it is the country’s most important profession. The Sunday Times reported Sir Tom’s view that primary and secondary teachers have critical roles in preparing pupils for a “fourth industrial revolution” driven by technology, but need more support from Holyrood. Teachers are “undeniably the most important profession we have”, he said, but their status had been “downgraded” as salaries stagnated.
The Scottish Green Party has highlighted cuts to additional support needs (ASN) staff. The Greens said at their recent conference that, while one in four pupils were now categorised as ASN, 500 ASN teachers and hundreds of specialist staff had been cut since 2010. The party’s claims were deemed “mostly true” by The Ferret Fact Service.
The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has praised a new national plan for recognising “the link between high-quality early learning and giving all children the best start in life”. Chief executive Purnima Tanuku said the Quality Action Plan showed the Scottish government had listened to the sector. Meanwhile, a new campaign aims to recruit up to 11,000 people into the childcare profession, to cope with expansion of funded early learning and childcare.
Native varieties of Scottish apples are being revived with help from school pupils. The Herald reported that over 800 school and community orchards had been planted in the past three years, helping boost varieties such as James Grieve, Cambusnethan Pippin and Lass O’Gowrie.