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Hunger Lesson for Teachers

Child poverty in Scotland is now so severe that teachers are being sent advice on how to spot if a child in their class is going hungry, amid evidence that the problem is having an increasingly serious impact on education. The new guidance, which will be distributed to schools and colleges across Scotland next week, warns that the issue of hunger among pupils is “moving from the exceptional to the more commonplace” as families struggle to make ends meet. 
The advice has been drawn up by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, after a survey of 300 schools and colleges suggested that teachers are increasingly having to help underfed pupils.
“Pupils may appear pale, fatigued, irritable or lacking in concentration, or complain of headaches or feeling unwell,” it states. “While there can be other reasons underlying such signs, for a growing number of children and young people in our schools and colleges today, the reason will be hunger.”

More th…

Poor Exam Results

St Ninian’s High School and  Williamwood High School came first and second in a nationwide league table based on exam results. Once again, the league tables illustrate the gap between schools in affluent areas and those in more deprived parts of the country.

While only 6.2 per cent of pupils at St Ninian’s and 5.1 per cent of those at Williamwood received free meals, just a few miles away at Govan High School, 43.2 per cent of pupils received free school dinners. Govan High was among those schools where none of the S4 roll went on to pass five or more Highers in S5, as was another Glasgow school, St Margaret Mary’s Secondary in Castlemilk.

At Northfield Academy in Aberdeen, where 27.9 per cent of pupils receive free school meals, no pupils left with five Highers or more. In contrast, 40 per cent of pupils at nearby Cults Academy – where only 2.9 per cent receive free meals – got five Highers or more.

In Edinburgh, not one pupil at Castlebrae Community High or Craigroyston Community H…

Learning about schools and education

Children as such are not usually included among the oppressed. Yet they necessarily compose one of the weakest, most dependent and defenseless sections of the population. Each generation of children is not only helped but hindered and hurt by the elders who exercise direct control over them. Children are normally unaware of the social causes of their misfortunes and miseries and even the grown-ups may not know about them. Most parents cannot be held individually responsible for such misdeeds for they, too, have been shaped by the society around them and are obliged to follow certain ways out of necessity.


The class structure quickly impresses its stamp upon the personality, conditioning and regulating the relations between the sexes, the rich and the poor. This determines both the characteristics of the educational system and of the children tutored and trained under it.
Children soak up knowledge and retain it for use. The child learns best through direct personal experience. In the…

The class struggle

Members the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland's largest teachers union, yesterday voted in favour of fighting austerity measures in a renewed campaign which could lead to industrial action in the autumn. The union backed motions calling for action to protect the profession from public sector cuts and oppose changes to their pensions being made by the UK government. While pension reform is reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Government has said it must implement the changes or face losing £100 million a year it receives from the UK government. Last November, Scots teachers took part in a UK-wide strike over pension changes – the first nationwide walkout by the profession in Scotland since 1986.

In a scathing attack the newly-elected EIS general secretary Larry Flanagansaid  “We understand that it is the UK government, the coalition, that has been the driving force behind the attempt to make teachers pay more, to work longer and to get less. We know who the guilty …