Opposition parties have criticised plans to introduce an E grade at National 5 and Higher, aimed at reducing the number of failures. A government advisory group is considering the move to counteract the effect of scrapping unit assessments, which would mean some weaker students walking away after their exam results with nothing to show for their efforts. Shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: “Adding an E grade will do nothing to address the issue. This is far more about the structure of exams rather than tampering with grades.” Meanwhile, Iain Gray, her Labour counterpart, described the move as “a panic measure”.
A total of £2 million has been handed to good causes in the past eight years, thanks to a scheme that teaches pupils about the principles of philanthropic giving. Under the Wood Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative, teams of school pupils must make the case for a £3,000 grant to be given to the charity of their choice. This year, 210 Scottish secondary schools will participate. The latest £3,000 grant was awarded to children’s charity PEEK Project after S2 pupils from Govan High in Glasgow successfully argued for it.
More than 40,000 school pupils have been given life-saving CPR training over the past 12 months. The figure was published last week in a Scottish government report reviewing progress in the first year of Scotland’s Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy. The scheme aims to save 1,000 extra lives by 2020. The British Heart Foundation has also provided Call Push Rescue training kits to 108 secondary schools.
No criminal proceedings will be brought over the death of an Edinburgh high-school pupil, who was killed when a school wall collapsed on her, prosecutors have said. Keane Wallis-Bennett, 12, died at Edinburgh’s Liberton High in April 2014 when a changing-room wall in a gym collapsed. The Crown Office said the decision not to prosecute “may be reconsidered” if further evidence came to light. A fatal-accident inquiry will now be held.