Teaching support service in Renfrewshire is axed


The Herald reports that a teaching support service which helps some of the most needy youngsters has been axed.  The team of 35 teachers forms part of the Renfrewshire Specialist Peripatetic Service which provides teaching support to children with a wide range of support needs – including dyslexia numeracy and writing – in schools at all levels.  There is concern that the demise of the service is connected to a £4.5m education budget cut which is hitting all primary, special and secondary schools in the local authority.

Power of the blog put to the test


TESS reports that a National schools’ intranet should provide a wider audience for pupils’ work, and a place where teachers can find inspiration too

‘Learning from other teachers is a major part of professional development, and the national schools intranet is helping to spread the word. East Lothian has developed eduBuzz, an active educational community of 1,500 people, designed as a forum for teachers and a platform for sharing resources.

Even if it is the only national schools intranet in the world, Glow is far from being a step in the dark. Its early phases drew heavily on lessons learnt in the implementation of large IT projects elsewhere, and there has been a clear focus from the start on taking the time to get things right.

Even at this late stage, as the system is rolled out across the country, there are parallels to be drawn and lessons learnt, believes information analyst and former teacher David Gilmour – and sometimes in unexpected places.

David Gilmour will deliver the seminar Making Glow Happen on September 25 at the Scottish Learning Festival, the largest CPD event of the year. SECC, Glasgow.

GO David!!

More on Dore

Bad Science » Dore – the media’s miracle cure for dyslexia

A fascinating article (and many comments) around the demise of the DDAT/Dore programme by Ben Goldacre, a medical doctor who writes for The Guardian, the BMJ and more on pseudoscience and medicine in culture.

Equally interesting is his discussion of the place of blogging in challenging spurious claims. Goldacre writes:  I think the most fascinating thing about this story is that the mainstream media has been so fawning, encouraging people to part with their cash even as the programme was going under, while the bloggers have been dissecting the scientific evidence, even dissecting the accounts, predicting the financial problems, and reporting on events as they happen.

So far – and I think I should start keeping a proper score here – that’s mainstream media 0, bloggers 10.

21st century learning in action!


In June this year, East Lothian Council, in partnership with Lothian and Borders Police, will be hosting a series of Internet safety and responsible use training sessions for parents with pupils in P5 – S6 across the county.  This is in response to growing concerns, expressed by individual parents and parent councils, about how to make sure young people use the internet safely and responsibly. The sessions are also designed to show parents how they can protect their youngsters from on-line dangers.

The training sessions will be led by Ollie Bray (Depute Head at Musselburgh Grammar School) and PC David Gunn from Lothian and Borders Police. Both Mr Bray and Mr Gunn are accredited Ambassadors of the Child Exploitation Online Protection Agency (CEOP).

The training session has already been piloted within the Musselburgh Cluster and received positive response from over 200 parents. The content of the evening includes background information on new technologies and information about computers and mobile phones and the law. But the main part of the presentation involves Mr Bray taking the parents into some ‘real’ social networking spaces that young people use. This includes Habba Hotel, Teenspot, MSN Instant Messenger and Bebo. The session also gives advice on how you can protect your home computer and advice on on-line gaming.

Everybody who attends the training will have access to a comprehensive on-line handout.

The sessions will be held at:

        *       Preston Lodge High- 3 June 2008
        *       Ross High – 10 June 2008
        *       Dunbar Grammar – 11 June 2008
        *       Knox Academy – 18 June 2008
        *       North Berwick High – 24 June 2008

All training sessions will take place between 7 – 9pm.

Ollie Bray, Depute Head at Musselburgh Grammar School, says:
‘This is a very exciting time for East Lothian to be leading the way in Internet Training for staff, parents, families and pupils.  We are going to use the feedback we gain from these sessions to inform good practice nationally through the Scottish Learning Festival.’

These evenings will start promptly at 7pm and have a limited availability. If you have any queries or you would like to book a place on one of these sessions, please email Tess Watson, (Acting Education Support Officer) at twatson@eastlothian.gov.uk or log onto http:www.edubuzz.org/blogs/internetsafety