Community News

Midlothian launches new Centre of Research and Innovation in Learning

Midlothian View - 1 hour 38 min ago

Back row – Councillor Jim Muirhead, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education and Ken Muir, the Chief Executive of the GTCS.
Front Row: Dr Mary Smith, Midlothian Council’s Director of Education, Communities and Economy, Professor Rowena Arshad, the head of Moray House School of Education and co-director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) and Dr Grace Vickers, Midlothian’s Head of Education.

Midlothian Council has officially launched a new Centre of Research and Innovation in Learning.

A partnership project with the University of Edinburgh and the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS), the centre is based at the council’s Fairfield House in Dalkeith.

Speaking at the launch event at the GTCS headquarters in Edinburgh, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead said:

“Spearheaded by our innovative partnership working with the university, the centre will build on the pioneering work already underway in Midlothian.

“With our focus already on evidence-based best practice such as Professor John Hattie’s Visible Learning, we want to support, commission, harness and share research to improve the way students learn.

“This is a very exciting project that will impact on learning and attainment not just in Midlothian but certainly across Scotland, if not further afield.”

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The Centre of Research and Innovation in Learning will:

– Promote practitioner enquiry as a consistent and deliberate practice. Practitioner enquiry is an area of professional learning that supports teachers to become more engaged with research to support their own learning and ultimately pupil experiences.

– Promote collaboration within and across schools

– Promote the impact of collaborating on student learning and the use of Visible Learning coaches

– Promote the use of research and evidence-based practice to support improvement

– Support staff undertaking Masters level research and learning

– Commission research with partners that enhances the way students learn

– Support external researchers undertaking work with permission in Midlothian

– Support distribution and sharing of effective theory and practice about how students learn

– Support publication of research within Midlothian

– Ensure central records are kept of relevant research and papers for staff to access

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Professor Rowena Arshad, the head of Moray House School of Education and co-director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) was one of the two keynote speakers at the launch.

Professor Arshad said:

“Midlothian Council is to be highly commended for establishing this centre and for recognising the place of research in improving educational practice. The possibilities this hub provides is exciting. For example, it may help develop basic research on how pupils and teachers learn or aid in researching specific teaching strategies to develop language acquisition. Now teachers and pupils can be part of finding answers to questions they want to ask and solutions to problems they want to solve.”

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Ken Muir, the chief executive of the GTCS, also spoke at the launch. He said:

“Practitioner Enquiry is an area of professional learning that is embedded in the GTCS Professional Standards for teaching. It is recognised within Scottish education as a key way for teachers to engage with research in order to enhance their own practice and lead educational change.

“GTCS is pleased to support this innovative project that will see teachers in Midlothian and beyond offered increased support in this area. This will undoubtedly lead to enhanced learning and teaching, and ultimately improved outcomes for our children and young people.”

The new centre comes just weeks after Midlothian Council launched its first Centre of Excellence. Again working with the University of Edinburgh, the newly opened Newbattle High School will specialise in digital skills.

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Categories: Community News

Scottish Government’s schools investment welcomed by MSP

Midlothian Advertiser - 3 hours 7 min ago
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has hailed Scotland’s Schools for the Future school building programme for investing £50.8 Million in Midlothian,

College conversations continue at Newbattle Abbey

Midlothian Advertiser - 4 hours 5 min ago
The third Newbattle Conversations event was held recently, discussing young people and politics.

Brown Bin charges from March next year

Midlothian View - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 15:07

Charges for collecting brown bins in Midlothian are to be introduced from March next year meaning residents will need to pay to have their brown bin emptied.

An annual permit will cost £35 per bin and there are no exemptions or concessions.

The brown bin will still be collected fortnightly and charging will begin when collection re-starts in March 2019.

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The council said:

“The charge will cover the cost of collection and the treatment of garden waste. Like other local authorities, our funding from central Government has been cut, and we must make difficult decisions about what we can and cannot provide. The charge for garden waste collection will help reduce our £13.5 million funding gap. The other option was to stop brown bin collections altogether.

“A very small part of your Council Tax pays for emptying all bins and disposing of waste. Council Tax funds a wide range of services, and is not a direct charge for services or items. We are legally required to collect household waste free of charge, but this does not include garden waste.

“Residents can opt take their garden waste to a Recycling Centre free of charge or compost their garden waste at home.

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From January 2019 residents will be able to apply and pay for a permit. Residents will then get a sticker for their bin which collection crews will check when they empty the bin. Bins without a permit sticker will not be emptied.

Edinburgh council have recently introduced a brown bin charge and they have opted to charge £25.

Former Midlothian SNP MP Owen Thompson said on Twitter:

“Come on @midgov time for a rethink on this! Massive backwards step and seriously short sighted. #NoBinCharge”

There are concerns that this charge will mean an increase in the instances of fly-tipping across Midlothian or residents will opt to put garden waste into their black bins which would mean the council incurs further landfill costs negating some of the savings they seek to make.

Council leader Derek Milligan told Midlothian View:

“Scottish government cuts to council budgets are forcing councils across Scotland to scrap or introduce charging for services such as garden waste.

“With Midlothian still expected to see further cuts of up to £38 million over the next 5 years the council simply doesn’t have adequate funding to provide services that the public want.”

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Categories: Community News

Danderhall gala returns

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 14:08
Danderhall Gala Day returned to the village on Saturday after an absence of 22 years.

Gorebridge Gala Day

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 13:57
Gorebridge Gala Day took place last Saturday, with a parade through the town to the gala day itself at Gore Glen.

Loanhead Carnival slideshow

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 13:51
Last Friday Loanhead came to a standstill for the annual carnival to kick-off more than a week of Gala Day celebrations in the town.

Launch of new learning research centre

Midlothian Council - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 12:21
Midlothian Council officially launched a new Centre of Research and Innovation in Learning today (Friday 22 June).

Mischievous Reading for Summer!

Midlothian View - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 09:51

From left to right: Mayfield Primary School pupils (and mischief makers!) Caitlin Birrell, Denae Wight and Chelsey Birrell at the new Newbattle Library.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge was launched in Midlothian today.

The reading challenge is open to primary school aged children of all reading abilities. It runs in all Midlothian libraries from 22 June and children can sign up for free at their local library.

The theme of 2018’s challenge is ‘Mischief Makers’, inspired by the historic Beano comics, which celebrate their 80th anniversary this year. Everyone taking part will get a map of Beanotown and will receive stickers for reading books. Comic book favourites Dennis the Menace and Gnasher will be on hand to help solve clues to a mysterious buried treasure. Read six books and collect all the stickers to find the treasure and complete the challenge.

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Councillor Stephen Curran, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries said:

“The annual Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to engage children in reading during the long summer holidays. It helps keep up their reading skills and gives them confidence. Children can read whatever type of books they like for example joke books, novels, non-fiction and even audio books – as long as they are borrowed from the library.”

For further information or to sign up, children or their parents should contact their local library. Children can also create an account on the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge website to keep a note of the books they read:

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Categories: Community News

New outdoor gym opened in Mayfield

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 06:00
If local people in Mayfield and Easthouses are looking toned and in tip-top condition, it might be because they’ve been hitting the new outdoor gym.

Midlothian job centre staff helping claimants

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 05:56
The latest figures from the local job centres show that there are 1545 people in Midlothian claiming Universal Credit.

Community Council boundary changes

Midlothian View - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 18:01

Current boundaries between the two Community Councils.

The Community Councils of Eskbank & Newbattle and Bonnyrigg & Lasswade are proposing to change the boundary between their two wards to reflect the actual nature of our communities and the levels of interest in the developments that take place within the boundaries. This will ensure that the appropriate communities get informed about developments that affect them as they only get informed if the land is identified as belonging to our ward.

They are about to begin a 90-day consultation period. If you have any comments or concerns then email

Proposed boundaries between the two Community Councils.

The post Community Council boundary changes appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

Man crushed to death in Mayfield work accident

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:02
A 47-year-old man was “crushed” in a tragic industrial accident yesterday in Mayfield.

Worker crushed to death by machinery at Dalkeith industrial estate

Edinburgh Evening News Midlothian - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 14:15
A 47-year-old man has been “crushed” in a tragic industrial accident in Dalkeith.

Road closures

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:15
Two of Bonnyrigg’s main roads will be closed for the coming weeks, hitting an already under pressure road network in the town.

Your views on free school meals

Midlothian Council - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 08:40
We’re looking for the views of parents of primary school children on the subject of free school meals. Take part in our survey.

Dalkeith set to rock this weekend

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 06:27
Dalkeith Country Park is set to rock this weekend with two music festivals taking place.

Local landmark to shine a light on Motor Neurone Disease

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 05:59
The National Mining Museum in Newtongrange will join Scottish landmarks including the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and Caird Hall in Dundee in shining a light on Motor Neurone Disease today.

Inaugural youth brass band contest coming to Newtongrange

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 05:51
National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange is set to host the first ever Scottish Youth Brass Band Competition later this month.

Lets get together in Jarnac Court this Friday

Midlothian View - Wed, 20/06/2018 - 17:53

The Great Get Together will be holding an event as part of The Great Get Together weekend on Friday 22nd June at Jarnac court between 12.30 and 2pm.

The first Great Get Together was held last year on the anniversary of Jo’s murder. This year her family have decided to move the celebrations to the weekend of what would have been her 44th birthday.

Come along to celebrate diversity and community in Midlothian on Friday.

The Great Get Together will be providing tea, coffee and baked goods to the community with the aim of bringing everybody together to discuss local issues. A gazebo and tables and chairs laid out in Jarnac Court from 12.30.

There will be representation from local people, Midlothian Voluntary action, and Refugee action Scotland to celebrate diversity in Midlothian and there will be representatives from the Midlothian refugee community present looking to get involved and share their experiences with everybody.

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Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley said

“Midlothian is such a welcoming and inclusive community and I hope that this event brings us even closer.

“I’m pleased to be bringing our community together to celebrate what we have in common.”

Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said:

“Jo loved a celebration and, speaking as a proud Yorkshire lass, nobody can rival us for the best parties, but there are so many wonderful events planned for the end of June that I wish I could get to all of them. Britain is once again coming together to show our country at its best. Whether it’s the big community gatherings or the dozens of smaller events, including boat races, musical extravaganzas and street parties, this will be a weekend to remember.

“I’m touched by how many people say they remember my sister’s words in Parliament when she said we have more in common than that which divides us. On June 22-24 we can prove her right and help continue the work she started.

“I’m sure the get together in Dalkeith will be huge success and I hope everybody who gets involved has an amazing time”

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The 2018 Great Get Together builds on the success of last year when over 120,000 events, large and small, took place across the UK to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Jo Cox MP. The popular mix of streets parties, BBQs, picnics and Iftars will be supplemented with sporting events and occasions to bridge community divisions and make new connections.

All of them are inspired by Jo’s first speech to parliament when she said “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”.

Once again the Great Get Together has teamed up with a team of partners including the FA, Women’s Institute, NCVO, the Scouts, Girl Guiding, Royal British Legion, RSPB, The Challenge, Airbnb, Tesco and many more see

Jo Cox’s life was marked by her compassion and by her passion. She worked tirelessly for a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world. And she believed passionately that even the greatest challenges could be overcome.

Jo was murdered on the 16th June 2016 in the place she loved – Batley and Spen – doing the work she loved, as an MP on behalf of her constituents. The Jo Cox Foundation has been established to support her friends, family and colleagues in their efforts to continue her work and to highlight the issues she cared about so deeply.

Led by her example, they are restless for change. Just as she did, they believe in working together with individuals and organisations that share the commitment to a fairer, kinder more tolerant world.

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Categories: Community News