The drive to encourage healthy eating in secondary schools has been put on the back burner. Speaking at a conference on the Hungry for Success initiative on Wednesday, Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Early Years, acknowledged that nutritional regulations, which have already come into force in primary schools, "may have a negative impact on uptake of school meals in some secondary schools if introduced this year". Secondaries have now been given a year's grace to comply with the regulations from next August. Mr Ingram used the conference to launch new guidance on the provision of "tasty and appealing food" in schools.
Measures to strengthen the education of children in care were announced this week. They include training materials for those working with young people, featuring a "hard-hitting and sometimes disturbing" DVD of one youngster's journey through the care system. The results of the research on the pilot projects which have developed new ways of improving attainment and achievement by children in care have also been published, providing evidence of what works.
Gaelic-teaching probationers appear to be finding it easier than others to find work. Research by Bord na Gaidhlig shows that, over the past six years, 89 per cent of Gaelic-medium primary school probationers got a full-time permanent job immediately after their probation, two-thirds with the same authority. The rate of success for Gaelic secondary teachers was slightly lower.
Inspectors are still not satisfied with the progress to improve child protection services in Edinburgh. Their follow-through report says the steps taken have been slow and a few areas still require "urgent attention". They single out the patchy commitment of managers and staff, particularly in the city council: "Staff recognised and welcomed improvement in leadership and direction. However, not all of them recognised the need for change and improvement."
A Borders school is claiming a first in building a house in its own grounds. Over the next 12 months, with the help of the Muir Group, Skills for Work pupils at Peebles High will be honing their construction skills, while senior pupils on a student leadership initiative will oversee the project, including applying for planning permission through to a possible opening ceremony.