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This Week

Education news in brief

Education news in brief

Maxwell to bridge new agency gap

Bill Maxwell, currently senior chief inspector of education, has been appointed transitional chief executive officer of the new education agency. The new body, currently known as the Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency, will bring together the work of Learning and Teaching Scotland, HMIE and some functions currently carried out by the Scottish Government. The new agency will take effect on 1 July 2011.

Pencils at ready for 741,415 exams

Scotland's exam season kicks off on Tuesday, 3 May, with Standard grade computing studies and finishes on Friday, 10 June, with higher mechatronics. Altogether 159,536 candidates in 549 schools and colleges will participate in the annual Scottish Qualifications Authority exams. Over the six-week period, 741,415 exams will be taken.

STUC anger over derecognitions

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has passed a motion condemning the decision by Robert Gordon University to derecognise the University and College Union (UCU) and Unite trade unions. UCU's emergency motion to last week's STUC conference pointed out that RGU's new principal, Professor Ferdinand von-Prondzynski, had his right to blog and tweet enshrined in his contract, while staff were denied the right to express their views and organise as a union.

Shetland to shed rural schools

Shetland has become the latest authority to announce plans to close rural schools in an effort to save money. Education officials say closure of schools in Uyeasound, Burravoe, North Roe and Sandness, all of which have received excellent reports from inspectors, would save pound;250,000. In December, councillors agreed to close Scalloway secondary department, saving an estimated pound;700,000. They chose not to close Scotland's smallest secondary, the three-pupil school in Skerries, because of the economic impact on the island.

Four vie for TES awards glory

Four Scottish schools have been shortlisted in this year's TES Schools Awards: The New School Butterstone at Dunkeld, Perthshire, in the special needs school of the year section; Castlehead High in Paisley, Renfrewshire, for "outstanding literacy or numeracy initiative"; Portree High on Skye in the outstanding business partnership category; and Dairsie Primary in Cupar, Fife, in the outstanding sustainable school or partnership section. The awards will be on 8 July.

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