A week in secondary: 18 May 2018

18th May 2018 at 00:00

A lack of diversity in Scotland’s teaching profession is damaging pupils’ attainment and life chances, an education union’s annual conference heard last week. NASUWT Scotland members were “shocked to note the limited progress made towards equality and diversity across the teaching profession”, according to a motion at the union’s gathering in Glasgow. The statement follows research, reported in Tes Scotland (bit.ly/LackOpportunity), citing a lack of promotion opportunities for black and minority ethnic teachers.

The Samaritans charity has called on parents, teachers, pupils and employers to put wellbeing ahead of grades this exam season. Its bid to encourage students to see that there is more to life than exams came at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, during which the Scottish Conservatives also called for a national programme of mental health teacher training and an improvement in counselling services in secondary schools.

A new national programme to tackle hate crime will provide a “one-stop shop” for anyone who works with young people. Action on Prejudice, launched this week by youth-work organisation YouthLink Scotland, gathers together a range of resources covering race, sexuality, gender, disability and religion. Police Scotland statistics show 900 cases of hate crime involved 11- to 15-year-olds in 2016.

Money earmarked for closing the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils has been used to buy in police for schools, MSPs have heard. Martin Canavan, policy and participation officer at the Aberlour Child Care Trust, said this was an example of the national Pupil Equity Fund “not being used as best it could be”.

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