A week in education

Yesterday saw the official launch of a new 247 helpline service for Scottish teachers, in the form of a trial run in Fife and Renfrewshire.

Teacher Support Scotland, which will oversee the free online initiative (similar to one already operating in England for two years), says the intention, if it is a success, is to have all teachers covered in 2008.

The organisation emphasises that its service will complement what is available from employing authorities and the unions.

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As the Green Party gets set to exert influence on the new Scottish Executive, a Travelling Green programme, pioneered in West Dunbartonshire schools, is to be offered to all pupils in Scotland. Backed by pound;200,000 from the executive, the initiative is intended to encourage young people to walk to and from school, increasing their levels of physical activity.

The experience is that the project also contributes to road safety by introducing "pedestrian skills." The former executive had a target of cutting the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads by 50 per cent by 2010.

The triumphs of the Snapdragon restaurant at Cardinal Newman High in North Lanarkshire continue, as it saw off competition from top hotels to pick up a leading industry award. The restaurant, a cornerstone of the School of Ambition programme at the school and run in conjunction with Motherwell College, has now added the Innovation in Training Award from Catering in Scotland to its regional title of College Restaurant of the Year, which it won three months ago in a UK competition run by Restaurant magazine.

A report has been submitted by Northern Constabulary in Inver-ness to the procurator fiscal following an incident at Aviemore Primary where a trainee teacher was alleged to have taped the mouths of two five year olds who were chattering in her class. A spokesman for Highland Council said it did not intend to take any "immediate action". The trainee was no longer at the school.

A former TESS book of the year has been sent to all Scottish secondary schools. Some 12,000 free copies of the second edition of the Young Citizen's Passport Scotland, winner of the 2005 TESSSaltire Society educational book of the year award, were issued, courtesy of the Law Society of Scotland. The book is a pocket-sized guide to the law, aimed at 16-19 year olds, and is published by Hodder Gibson.

We are also pleased to report that regular TESS columnist Walter Humes, professor of education at Paisley University, has been recognised for services to education by the Institute of Contemporary Scotland. He joins luminaries this year such as Sally Magnusson, William McIlvanney, Lord Mac-Farlane and Lord Hope.

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