At a glance headlines: August 28, 2014


The educational use that proceeds of crime are being put to and a special award for a Glasgow's work with children with additional needs are among this week's At a glance headlines for SecEd's annual all-Scottish edition.

Highers static

The Higher pass rate is almost unchanged at 77.1 per cent this year compared with 77.4 per cent in 2013, according to the SQA. But a total of 191,850 Highers were sat across all subjects – a rise of more than 9,000 on 2013 – which the Scottish government said was a record number. This year marks the first time the new National 4 and 5 qualifications have been awarded after they were brought in as part of the Scottish government’s Curriculum for Excellence reforms, with most pupils in S4 now sitting these instead of Standard Grades. The pass rate for the National 4 was 93 per cent, with 114,173 passes recorded by the SQA. At National 5, the success rate was 81.1 per cent. 

Demolition agreed

A gym hall in an Edinburgh school where a 12-year-old girl was crushed to death by falling masonry will be demolished as soon as investigations are complete. Liberton High is in discussions with the council about a suitable memorial for Keane Wallis-Bennett, who died in April. The government has offered to pay two-thirds of the cost of replacement facilities. Alasdair Allan, minister for learning, said: “We remain ready to offer support to the council and families affected by the tragedy.” The number of prospective S1 pupils at the school this term fell by almost 40 per cent because of the accident, according to the Edinburgh Evening News.

Special award

A school in Glasgow has won five “excellent” grades for its work with children with additional needs. Isobel Mair School in Newton Mearns is the first school to win such high marks under new Education Scotland inspection guidelines. Inspectors cited the creative approaches to teaching children and the “outstanding leadership” of headteacher Mari Wallace. Pupils were given “rich, meaningful learning experiences”. Inspectors plan to record innovative teaching practices at Isobel Mair for possible use in other schools.

Proceeds of crime

More than £500,000 seized from criminals will go towards community youth groups across Scotland in 2014/15 as the first part of a £2 million fund to be paid out over the next three years. CashBack for Communities, which started in 2007, will benefit thousands of young people in the form of grants to educational, cultural and sporting organisations. One example is Strathmore Centre for Youth Development, Perthshire, which has received £2,182 to support activities including organising trips for young people.

Positive rating

Three quarters of Dundee residents are happy with their education facilities and the quality of teaching, according to a survey of the council by the city’s Evening Telegraph newspaper. However, issues such as school funding, quality of meals and catchment areas received the highest number of “poor” or “mostly poor” scores.



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