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Closures baptism for Dewar;In brief

Donald Dewar, the First Minister, has been drawn into his first closures row. Shutting two of the three Moray schools, confirmed by the full council on Wednesday, requires Mr Dewar's approval because they are beyond the stipulated distance from the pupils' new schools. The authority is also considering the future of another three primaries.

The immediate candidates for the axe are Edinvillie and Boharm primaries and Tomintoul Secondary, where the single S2 pupil faces a 50-mile round trip to Speyside High. Savings total pound;180,000, including the pound;105,010 it costs to educate the Tomintoul pupil.

Meanwhile Edinburgh councillors have agreed to merge two primaries that are a third empty, build a new 400-pupil primary with private funds to serve the south of the city, take public soundings on three new schools which would replace five primaries on the north side of the city and open consultations on a new special school to replace two existing centres - which will also need Mr Dewar's consent.

Bucking the trend, East Renfrewshire has decided against amalgamating Isobel Mair special school with the Glen Children's Centre.

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