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This week

Exceptional admissions down

The number of exceptional admissions to the teaching register in Scotland has gone down by almost 30 per cent, figures from the General Teaching Council for Scotland have shown. The number of teachers trained outwith Scotland who were offered some form of registration following their application dropped from 293 in January to September 2010 to 207 in January to September this year.

EIS's Ronnie Smith to retire

EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith has announced he will retire in the new year, after 17 years in the post and 24 years in senior EIS positions. Mr Smith, a former Latin and modern studies teacher, will step down at the end of March 2012.

Incompetent teacher struck off

A teacher who let her pupils listen to their iPods during lessons has been struck off the teachers' register. Suzanne Harwood was found guilty by the GTCS's disciplinary sub-committee of a series of charges that amounted to serious professional incompetence, including conducting many classes that left pupils confused. Ms Harwood, who taught English at Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, dismissed growing pupil, parent and staff concerns over her ability to teach as perceptions, and refused to acknowledge need for improvement.

Pupils to get `good environments'

The Scottish Government's capital spending plans, announced this week, include a pledge that by 2018, the vast majority of Scottish pupils will "benefit from good learning environments" and by 2016, students in Glasgow, Inverness and Kilmarnock will have new colleges. Alex Neil, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, published the Infrastructure and Investment Plan, with details for up to pound;60 billion of spending up to 2030.

Awards for excellence

School inspectors have awarded Woodfarm High in East Renfrewshire three "excellent" ratings for improvements in performance, meeting learning needs and improvement through self-evaluation; and two "very good" ratings for learners' experiences and the curriculum. In a separate inspection report, Greenwood Learning Community in North Ayrshire - which covers youth work, adult learning and community-based organisations - received two excellent and three very good grades.

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