Headteachers lack the skills and experience needed to handle more autonomy, according to consultation responses on the Education Bill. Concerns have also been raised about a rise in heads’ workload, as well as the risk of new responsibilities distracting them from teaching. The government this week published an analysis of 870 responses to the bill, which includes a “headteachers’ charter”. It has prompted particular doubts over primary and rural heads’ capacity to take on more responsibility.
Growing numbers of parents are battling to send their children away to residential special schools due to mainstream provision being “inadequate”, according to University of Edinburgh inclusion expert Sheila Riddell. She spoke at an event in Edinburgh last week, as it emerged that the Additional Support Needs Tribunal’s caseload had increase by 40 per cent within a year.
A defibrillator should be installed in every school, the Scottish Parliament has heard. MSPs were discussing the case of Jayden Orr, a 10-year-old ice skater from Port Glasgow, who died last August after collapsing on an ice rink. The Show Some Heart campaign, launched in Jayden’s memory, is aiming to put a defibrillator in every school in Inverclyde.
Dame Jane Francis, director of the British Antarctic Survey, is urging schools with pupils aged 7-11 to apply to the free Polar Explorer scheme. Schools will be assigned a “polar ambassador” to bring Stem subjects to life by following the RRS Sir David Attenborough research ship and its automated submersible, Boaty McBoatface. Applications close on 31 May. See bit.ly/PolarProg