A week in education

Work has begun on the redevelopment and upgrading of Jordanhill School in Glasgow, which gets direct grant funding from the Scottish Executive. It received pound;6.6 million last year to construct a new teaching block, extend the refectory and upgrade its sports facilities. Paul Thomson, headteacher of the senior school, said the funding was effectively the school's share of the money that had been given to local authority schools for their upgrading or replacement.

The demands on children's services should ease with the news that the number of filled social worker posts in Scotland has increased by 2 per cent in the six months running up to April 2007, from 4,972 to 5,074, according to statistics published this week by the Scottish Executive. The number of social worker vacancies has decreased by 3.5 per cent over the same period, from 365 to 353. However, the number of vacant senior social worker posts has risen by 3.6 per cent.

The Place2Be, a charity that provides on-site counselling in schools, has urged the new Scottish Executive to meet the mental health needs of primary children after an evaluation provided evidence of the impact of its work.

Following the charity's intervention in 10 Edinburgh schools over the past couple of years, the percentage of children identified by their teachers as falling within the "abnormal" category fell from 53 per cent to 38 per cent. Those classified as "normal" rose from 27 per cent to 41 per cent.

Recent estimations by the Scottish Executive's Scottish Needs Assessment Programme suggest that 10 per cent of all children under the age of 19 have a mental illness, while the Office of National Statistics has found the 90 per cent of recidivist young offenders show symptoms of mental illness at the age of seven.

Christopher Brookmyre, the author and journalist, is to give the GTC Scotland annual lecture next Tuesday at Glasgow University. His talk is entitled "Education at the point of delivery" and will include extracts from his recent novel.

Lumsden School in Aberdeenshire has become one of the first in Scotland to achieve Unicef's new Rights Respecting School Award. The nationwide scheme promoted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the basis for enhancing teaching, learning, ethos, attitudes and behaviour.

The ex-service charity Poppy-scotland and the Royal Caledonian Schools Trust (the Caley) are to co-operate in a charitable initiative to provide educational grants for the children of Scottish veterans. Assistance will range from help with clothing for pupils to maintenance for students.

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