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A week in education

There were 2,110 pre-school teachers registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland at the start of the year, according to the latest set of Government statistics on the sector. This is a slight decrease on 2006 and compares with a total of 32,648 staff in pre-school and childcare centres. Ministers are committed to ensuring that youngsters in pre-school education have "access" to a fully-qualified teacher, but the figures show a fall to 55 per cent in the proportion of pre-school providers with at least one registered teacher.

In childcare, as opposed to pre-school centres, 80 per cent of the staff who worked directly with children had at least one childcare qualification, with the numbers highest in the public sector. Only 3 per cent of childcare staff were men.

The "most enterprising student" in Scotland and Northern Ireland is Shona McElroy, a 25-year-old accountancy and marketing student from Alloa who attends Stirling University. She was chosen after taking part in the Shell Step work placement programme run by Shell UK, and will now go forward to compete with other undergraduates in the UK final next Wednesday.

Teachers are reminded that time is running out for potential chartered teachers who could short-circuit the process of making the grade by opting for the accreditation for prior learning route operated by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. This scheme will close on August 31 next year. Those who have completed the first module and register by then will have two years to make a submission, and a further three years to try again if their first attempt was unsuccessful.

The accreditation route, which is currently being taken by 500 teachers, is seen as the quickest and cheapest way to become a chartered teacher, compared with academic study for a masters degree.

A parent in England is asking the High Court in London to overturn a previous ruling that it was lawful for the Government to send Al Gore's climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, to secondary schools south of the border. The film was also distributed to schools in Scotland, but Stuart Dimmock, who is a member of the New Party, argues that circulating the film amounted to indoctrination.

Readers who might have assumed that our regular columnist Ian Smith does not know his football are mistaken. The reference in his article last week to Paul Caldwell, which was not his, should have been to Gary Caldwell but both are wrong since the scorer of Scotland's goal against France in Paris last month was, of course, James McFadden, who was not the player in the picture. Our apologies.

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