A week in secondary: 15 June 2018

15th June 2018 at 00:00

Parents are more to blame than schools for pressuring pupils to go to university, the Scottish Guidance Association has said. It was “very surprised” by a parliamentary report’s finding that many pupils felt sidelined by school if they did not aspire to university (“Parity of esteem – as long as you’re off to university”, Tes Scotland, 18 May). But parents’ organisation Connect has insisted that schools still focus disproportionately on university-bound pupils.

Muffins, cakes and traybakes served at break times are “undermining” strict nutritional standards around school meals, according to an expert group that has carried out a review for the Scottish government. At many secondaries, sausage and bacon rolls were found to be available on a daily basis, particularly during the mid-morning break.

An independent panel has been set up to explore new “career pathways” for teachers. It was announced yesterday by education secretary John Swinney and will be chaired by Moyra Boland, deputy head of the University of Glasgow’s School of Education. Beginning with a literature review of evidence, it will gauge views in the sector over the summer, then make recommendations to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

The EIS has called for teachers of non-Christian faiths to receive paid leave on their holy days. The union, which held its AGM in Dundee last week, heard this would help teachers challenge the “climate of anti-Muslim prejudice” casting a “shadow” in schools. Its Edinburgh association has found “discrepancies” in local authorities’ arrangements for holy days, as well as ignorance about the issue within HR departments.

 

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