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The TESS Archive - 2 August 2002

The month French president Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt on Bastille Day, and a Rubens painting, The Massacre of the Innocents, sold for pound;49.5 million at Sotheby's

The month French president Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt on Bastille Day, and a Rubens painting, The Massacre of the Innocents, sold for pound;49.5 million at Sotheby's

Minsters may back boards against PTAs

- Under Scottish Executive plans to involve more parents in children's schooling, the Scottish School Board Association is set for a remarkable rehabilitation after falling out of favour over its role in the Section 2A sex education row and in a separate case of alleged maladministration, subsequently disproved. A wider role for school boards could signal the slow demise of parent teacher associations if, as expected, ministers press ahead with new models of parental involvement.

Speaking Scots can be a struggle

- Pupils who speak with the strongest Scots tongue often have the greatest difficulties with basic literacy because the language is so far removed from that of schools, writer Janet Paisley told the International Reading Association congress at the University of Edinburgh. "Their whole language can be ignored and proscribed," she said. "But most children are fluent and articulate if they are allowed to be."

Give them right to language of their own

- Matthew MacIver, registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (pictured below), issued a wake-up call on minority languages. In an opening speech to the International Reading Association congress, he recalled going to school in Lewis speaking only Gaelic and being educated only in English. Mr MacIver said mother tongues were an essential part of an individual's identity.

Heads get brickbat with their arts hug

- The Scottish Arts Council has produced a pessimistic assessment of the state of the arts in schools - while admitting the expressive arts have a more central place in the curriculum than almost any other Western country. Chairman James Boyle told education directors last year that he would "hug them to death" in staking a claim for the arts.

Guidance fails care kids

- Children's organisations have criticised the guidance system in secondary schools for failing the pupils most at risk. Teachers have strongly defended traditional patterns against efforts to restructure the approach to guidance in the post-McCrone era, which will see a gradual extension to the primary sector.

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