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A week in education

The Scottish Government will amend special needs legislation to give parents the right to make placing requests to schools in another education authority. Lord Macphail ruled in the Court of Session in October that the Additional Support for Learning Act did not give parents the right to do so, a decision which is being appealed to the House of Lords.

The case had been brought by Wilma Donnelly from West Dunbartonshire, who wanted her son Mark, who has cerebral palsy and is registered blind, to attend a special school in Glasgow rather than a mainstream one in her authority.

Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Young People, has said in a written parliamentary answer that, if the Lords uphold the judgment, the Government would aim to amend the act.

New research has revealed that 35 per cent of people employed in education do not think their boss is always honest during appraisals. Annual appraisals are regarded as a waste of time by 32 per cent, while 12 per cent have had an unfair one.

The research, conducted by YouGov for Investors in People across the UK, also found that 26 per cent of employees in education believe their manager sees their annual review as purely a "tick box" exercise. The study pinpointed lack of regular feedback between appraisals as a cause for concern, which could be why 30 per cent were surprised at what they heard in their appraisal.

The SNP has revealed figures which show that 78 per cent of people support the Government's plan to reduce class sizes in P1-3 to 18 as soon as possible. But this backing is in varying degrees, with 43 per cent saying they "tend to support it".

Residential schools and local authorities sending children to them with harmful sexual behaviour need to work more closely, particularly in sharing assessments and information. This is one of the conclusions of a joint investigation by the social work and education inspectorates and the Care Commission of four schools which look after such children. Their report notes that there is a lack of conclusive research about what treatment is most effective.

A Scottish student has won the pound;1,000 UK Erasmus Student Essay prize for 2007. Cameron MacInnes, who is studying business studies with languages at Strathclyde University, beat 150 others on the EU programme for those living and studying in European countries.

Lauder College in Dunfermline is the latest to reinvent itself and is now called Carnegie College, to emphasise its links with the eponymous philanthropist from the town.

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