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A week in education

The senior management team at Castlebay Community School on Barra is to hold meetings with parents and senior pupils after only two out of 11 students passed Higher English. The parent council expressed concern at the shortage of teachers in pupils' chosen subjects in the run-up to the exams; earlier this year, parents asked Michael Russell, the Education Secretary, to intervene and address a series of concerns highlighted by a critical HMIE report in 2008. A spokesman for the Western Isles Council said it was "disappointed" in Castlebay's results, particularly in English, adding there were a number of factors contributing to this.

Neil Logue is the new director of education for Angus Council. Mr Logue was acting director for most of the past year, having been depute director since 1996. Prior to that, he was an assistant director of education with Tayside Regional Council, an adviser and a modern languages teacher.

Plans to place seven primary schools on Arran under the charge of just two headteachers (TESS, July 9) have been scrapped by North Ayrshire Council following opposition from parents. Instead, a new council-wide shared headship model has been approved. Currently, all North Ayrshire primaries are led by a non-teaching head but, under a new formula, heads of schools with fewer than 100 pupils could be made responsible for a maximum of three schools. If a shared headship is not feasible, headteachers of small primaries could be asked to take on a teaching commitment.

Inverclyde Council wants to cut back on Concordat commitments, such as smaller class sizes and free school meals, to save pound;400,000 a year as it faces a financial black hole of pound;33.7 million. A working group is also examining whether "efficiencies" of pound;200,000 can be made in the early years. The council is looking at ways of reducing the teacher supply budget by 20 per cent. Chief executive John Mundell forecast that, in three years' time, it was likely the council would have 500 fewer posts. No service would remain untouched, he said.

The best HMIE report to date for a Glasgow primary was published this week. Sandaig Primary in Barlanark was awarded scores of four "excellent" and one "very good" by inspectors. They described the quality of "leadership for learning" shown by the headteacher and depute as "outstanding" and the school's arrangements for religious observance as "sector-leading".

A student at Strathclyde University has been named the winner of a Europe- wide award, for a paper examining young people's aspirations in education and the need for political strategies to focus more on the barriers they face. Konstanze Spohrer, a PhD student at the department of educational and professional studies, won the European Conference on Educational Research 2009 Best Paper Award.

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