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A week in education

One of Scotland's smallest education authorities, Moray Council, received a tentative verdict in an HMIE report this week. Although it has had a troubled educational history, it is commended for the strides made in the professional development of teachers, inclusion, parental involvement and Active Schools sports programme. But, the report adds, it has improvements to make in "strategic direction" to ensure it makes a greater impact on all learners.

The former president of the Educational Institute of Scotland has given up his fight with the union because he says he cannot afford to contest an interim interdict banning him from attending its meetings. Peter Quigley was served with a summons last week in an ongoing dispute with the EIS leadership, which claims he has resigned his position as an office-bearer, an assertion he vigorously denies. He accused the union of "using a sledgehammer to crack a nut".

Only half of last year's probationers had found permanent jobs by October - a drop of 5.3 per cent on the previous year - a survey by the General Teaching Council for Scotland has found. Responses from 1,500 new teachers showed that 70.9 per cent of secondary teachers were in permanent posts compared to only 30.5 per cent of primary.

Measures to protect young people in East Ayrshire present a mixed picture, according to inspectors in a report this week. The evaluation of risks and needs is said to be "weak", four other indicators were graded "adequate" and 11 were "good" or "very good"; the only "excellent" ratings were for the participation of families in policy development and the vision of local leadership.

Childcare costs are still soaring, claims the Daycare Trust, the national childcare charity. A full-time nursery place for under-twos now costs pound;7,332 in Scotland and pound;8,368 in England.

A prominent figure in Catholic education in Scotland, Monsignor Joseph Creegan, has been "suspended from the exercise of his priesthood" after he admitted an 18-year affair with a married woman. Mgr Creegan was the church's representative on TaysideDundee education committees for 26 years until August. He also played a key role in the St Andrew's College of Education merger with Glasgow University's education faculty, where he chaired the board of Catholic education.

A former student at the Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High, Ewan Robertson, won the BBC Radio Scotland young traditional musician of the year at the Celtic Connections festival on Sunday night.

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