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A week in Education

The General Teaching Council for Scotland is to open its disciplinary hearings to the public for the first time from next Tuesday. In June last year, the council agreed to publish on its website the name of any teacher who had been deregistered, details of the grounds for disciplinary action, and the name of the school where they had been a teacher. The moves are in line with freedom of information legislation.

Glasgow's Educational Institute of Scotland is threatening industrial action over council plans to introduce a 33-period timetable structure in all 29 secondary schools.

The union claims the restructuring will save the council 44 teachers' jobs by allowing schools to use the full 22.5 hours class contact time. A council spokeswoman said the 30-period model was not sufficiently flexible.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind in Scotland has marked Right to Read Week by renewing its call, first made a year ago to the Scottish Executive, for a national educational transcription service which would ensure pupils with sight loss received books and learning materials in the format that suits them, at the same time as their sighted classmates, to a uniform quality, wherever they live. John Legg, director, said for many of the 1,100 blind and partially sighted pupils, last year had been one of missing books, incomprehensible handouts, and wasted lessons.

Staff at Edinburgh's Stenhouse Primary are spearheading a development project to drive up school leadership in Malawi. Stenhouse head Marlene Galashan, and Fiona Christie, depute head at Corstorphine Primary, will provide training for 40 headteachers and divisional managers in the Mzuzu and Mzimba areas. Subsequently, 12 course participants will visit Edinburgh to shadow their counterparts.

Children's views would be better heard if the voting age was reduced to 16, the annual Children in Scotland conference heard last week. The idea was backed by the SNP, Lib Dems and Greens.

Labour MSP Cathie Craigie said her party was considering the idea.

Meanwhile, childhood expert Sue Palmer and author of Toxic Childhood told delegates less bureaucracy north of the border made it easier to implement policy changes, and that a stronger sense of national culture provided a better base for grassroots changes in communities.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is introducing 100 bank branches into primary and secondary schools in deprived areas in an initiative to boost personal finance education among youngsters. "School Money u the school bank from RBS" will recruit pupils to run each bank.

Pupils will receive cashier training and can open savings accounts, pay in money, and receive statements, but can't withdraw money from school branches.

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