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Ambition knows no bounds

Submissions for the Scottish Executive's Schools of Ambition programme are likely to exceed the target of at least 20 for the first phase. While the Executive has not divulged the exact number of bids, a spokeswoman said there had been a "healthy response".

Indications from 14 local authorities suggest they alone have submitted 18 secondary schools.

While Stirling and Glasgow have declined on confidentiality grounds to name their candidates, Glasgow has confirmed that its bid includes a cross-section of five secondary schools - three stand-alone bids and a fourth which pairs two schools. Likewise, Edinburgh has submitted a school but has declined to identify it.

South Ayrshire has nominated Carrick Academy and hopes to capitalise on the experience of Mike McCabe, its director of education, who chaired the Health Promoting Schools steering group, to establish Carrick at "the cutting edge of health promotion and positive lifestyles".

East Renfrewshire has submitted Barrhead High, with the aim of using the arts, creativity and language to raise attainment and develop inclusion.

Angus has put forward Arbroath Academy and Brechin High. Jim Anderson, director of education in Angus, said both schools were "heavily committed to an improvement agenda".

Newbattle Community High has been proposed by Midlothian in a bid to raise its levels of attainment which have not risen significantly despite major efforts.

East Ayrshire has taken a novel approach of putting forward the Doon Learning Partnership involving Doon Academy and five local primaries.

Shetland is submitting two bids: Anderson High, Lerwick, which aims to extend its "global classroom" network of schools in Europe, Africa and Asia; and Scalloway Junior High, so that it can become a learning hub for the whole of its community.

West Lothian has submitted Burnhouse School for pupils with additional support needs arising from social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in the hope that it will become a case study for good practice across Scotland.

Inverness High and Cardinal Newman High in North Lanarkshire (above) are also on the list. Orkney and Clackmannanshire are the only councils so far not to make a submission.

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