SSTA says single union would be `huge prize'
There are no longer substantial differences between primary and secondary staff, and union organisation should recognise that, George Sturrock, president of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, will tell members at their conference in Dunblane. It is the first time an SSTA president has openly called for union merger.
HMI's safe pair of hands
Graham Donaldson has been named the new senior chief inspector, taking over from Douglas Osler in the pound;75,000-a-year post. Mr Donaldson, 55, has been depute senior chief inspector since 1996 during some of HMIE's most turbulent years. His appointment will be warmly welcomed inside and outside the inspectorate. "He is consensual and constructive," a union official said.
Gray day for lifelong learning
The weekend press would have given the impression to colleges and universities that their new political master is well named. The swift installation of Iain Gray as lifelong learning minister followed the sudden resignation of Wendy Alexander to devote more time not to her family, but to "policy formation". Unflattering biographies compared Mr Gray less than favourably with his energetic and business-friendly predecessor.
SNP brings its tablets down from the Mound
The SNP plumped for seven major commitments to improve education beyond next May's Scottish Parliament elections. Top of the list is cutting P1-3 class sizes to 18 or below within seven years from 2004 and other primary and early secondary classes to 22-25. Only a substantial cut, well beyond the Scottish executive's move from 33 to 30, will make a genuine difference, the SNP says.
Students praised over Le Pen
Young people took a leading role before last Sunday's election when the incumbent French president Jacques Chirac won with 82 per cent of the vote against 18 per cent for Far-Right challenger Jean-Marie Le Pen. The National Front success in the first round brought 100,000 secondary pupils and university students out into the streets every day between the two rounds. Le Pen accused teachers of organising the demonstrations.