News at a glance

11th September 2015 at 01:00

Private school pupils get best Higher results yet

Scotland’s private schools have achieved their best-ever Higher results, according to new figures. Ninety five per cent of candidates from mainstream independent schools passed, compared with a national pass rate of just under 80 per cent. Sixty per cent of entries from private school candidates received an A grade, compared with just under 30 per cent nationally. Sixty-nine per cent of National 5 entries from independent school candidates were awarded an A grade, compared with 37.5 per cent nationally. The figures, compiled by the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), also show that fewer than a quarter of candidates from private schools sat the new Highers – considerably less than in Scotland as a whole.

Education Scotland reports on Guernsey schools

Education Scotland has published its inspection of Guernsey’s education department. This, TESS revealed last October, was the agency’s first comprehensive inspection of an education system outside the country. The Channel Island’s education department has been building links with Scotland for a number of years and has even discussed implementing Curriculum for Excellence. Guernsey educators had become disillusioned with reforms to the English curriculum – which the island traditionally follows, despite not being part of the UK – and felt they were more in tune with developments in Scotland. To read the report, visit

Shetlander shortlisted for Librarian of the Year

A librarian at a Shetland school is in the running to be named the best in her profession for the whole of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Jane Spall, of Aith Junior High School, is on the final shortlist of three for the School Librarian of the Year Award. Ms Spall works in the village school on the mainland, about 20 miles from Lerwick, with 182 students from nursery to age 16. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London organised by the School Library Association.

SQA unveils online learning community Ushare

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has launched Ushare, an online community that allows users to comment on, rate and share links to “open-source learning” materials. Open-source learning describes the practice of students creating bespoke online learning and materials available to all internet users. Ushare is currently available for a number of SQA Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses but work is taking place to add qualifications such as Advanced Highers, Highers and Nationals.

Highlands school launches its third appeal for teachers

One of Scotland’s most remote schools has launched a fresh appeal to find a headteacher and a class teacher. The five pupils at Scoraig Primary School, on a peninsula in the north-west Highlands, have been working with a succession of supply teachers after two previous Highland Council recruitment drives failed to fill the posts. There is no road to the peninsula, which is reached by boat or on foot via a five-mile path. Members of the 40-strong community believe that Scotland’s strict registration requirements for teachers from outside the country may have put off potential candidates.

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