Dundee Has Lowest Level of P1-3 Pupils in Classes of 18 or Fewer

More Nats Larger Classes
Scottish Government education statistics published on Wednesday have revealed that only 2.8% of Dundee pupils in their first three years at Primary School are in classes with a pupil teacher ratio of 18 or fewer. 

Compared with other Councils in Scotland, Dundee is bottom of this class. The average percentage across Scotland is 12.9%.

The overall Pupil Teacher Ratio in Dundee primary schools has also increased over the last year continuing a trend from 2008. 

In 2007, the SNP promised parents and carers in Scotland they would reduce class sizes for all P1-3 classes to 18 or fewer. More recently, they reduced their target to 20% of primary 1-3 pupils in these smaller classes. These statistics show that in Dundee they have totally failed with only a handful of classes across the city with 18 or fewer pupils.

Unfortunately Dundee is bottom of this national league table. Pupils, parents and carers in the City deserve better. 

SNP Councillors in Dundee have some explaining to do.


Upgraded Car Park at Gillies Park on its Way

Signpost to Gillies Park in Broughty Ferry
On Monday night the City Development Committee approved a tender for £48,358 for the surfacing of the car park at Gillies Park and some related lighting work.

I welcome this contract for the surfacing of the car park at Gillies Park. Many Barnhill residents have complained to me about the potholes and mud in the car park so I am sure they will welcome this upgrade.

It will also help parents and carers dropping off and picking up their children from Barnhill Primary School. The Nursery and P1 classes located in the new extension to the school are easily accessed from Gillies Park.

There will also be improvements to the lighting which should help all park users feel more confident about walking through the park at night time.

I have been assured that the work will be carried out before the end of March so thankfully folk won't have to endure the potholes much longer.


Christmas Land Train and Santa's Grotto in Broughty Ferry Sunday Afternoon 14 December 2014

Broughty Ferry Land Train
Come to central Broughty Ferry to do your Christmas shopping on Sunday 14th December 2014 and take your children for a ride on the Festive Train and visit to Santa's Grotto between 12-4 that afternoon.

The land train, decorated with lights and tinsel, will be offering rides around central Broughty Ferry with pick up/and drop off outside Visocchi’s in Gray Street. The specail £1 fare will be donated to charity.

Santa and his elves will also be handing out sweets to children from their Grotto 

These events are all courtesy of the Broughty Ferry Traders' Association.


Clean Sweep Along Coastal Path

Mechanical Sweeper
Earlier this week, staff from Dundee's Environment Department deployed one of their smaller mechanical sweepers on the coastal pathway between the Stannergate and Douglas Terrace. This has cleared up accumulated debris on both sides of the path. 

I am sure regular users of the path, including dog walkers and cyclists, will notice the difference.

Well done to the Environment Department to whom I had made a request. I have also suggested that this stretch of pathway is regularly scheduled for a clean sweep, perhaps once every one or two months.


Dundee Named the First UK City of Design by UNESCO

Dundee Joins UNESCO Creative Cities Network
On Monday 1st December, Dundee was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as the first City of Design in the UK.

Our city has been recognised by UNESCO for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games.

The title recognises the design innovations Dundee has contributed to the world, including, biomedical research which has led to numerous new drugs, comics including the Beano and Dandy, orange marmalade, and video games including Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto.

The city's waterfront is also undergoing a 30-year, £1bn regeneration project at the waterfront. Central to this plan is the creation of V&A Museum of Design Dundee. The city is also home to Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Rep Theatre, McManus Art Gallery and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

Through this prestigious award, it has joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network along with 27 other cities from 19 countries. Within the network there are seven thematic areas: Craft and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The network aims to foster international cooperation between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and enhanced influence of cultural in the world.

This designation is further recognition of the growing reputation and confidence of Dundee as a city with international significance.


World AIDS Day 1 December 2014

On October 27, 1988, the UN General Assembly officially declared December 1, 1988, to be World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day has also been observed on this date each year since then.

Is your HIV knowledge stuck in the 80s? Take part in a World AIDS Day quiz to find out.

AIDS stands for "acquired immune deficiency syndrome" or "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome" and denotes a condition, which results from the damage done by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) to the immune system. The condition was first identified in 1981 and the name "AIDS" was first introduced on July 27, 1982.

HIV can only be transmitted between people through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a bodily fluid. Hence, there has been a lot of stigma around the spread of HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS. It has been estimated that around 33 million people around the world have been infected with HIV and that around two million people die from AIDS related conditions each year.