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No relief for private school seeking charity status

Loretto School, a prestigious private school near Edinburgh, has failed the test for charitable status. The Scottish Charity Regulator has given Loretto 18 months to widen access, having found that "insufficient measures are in place to provide assistance in respect of high school fees". Average fees at Loretto - which takes day and boarding students - range from #163;10,616 to #163;25,935 per year. Eight private schools and organisations in Scotland passed the regulator's test, including: Lewis Christian Education Association, Isle of Lewis; Mannafields Christian School, Edinburgh; Moray Steiner School, Forres; Compass School, East Lothian; Lathallan School, Montrose; Christian Schools (Scotland), Hamilton; Albyn School, Aberdeen; and Glasgow Academicals War Memorial Trust.

Salmond says 'Mon Emie' to French friendship

Scotland and France are to forge stronger education links after first minister Alex Salmond signed a statement of intent with Bernard Emie, the French ambassador to the UK. Under the agreement, the two countries will draw up a plan to share ideas on curriculum and education reform, initial teacher education, languages and intercultural learning, information communications technology, inspection and the teaching of science and maths. The plan will encourage local authorities and schools in Scotland and France to arrange more exchanges for schoolchildren, student teachers and qualified teachers.

Science teaching should travel into deeper space

An Education Scotland report has painted a mixed picture of science education across the country. The report finds that most children and young people enjoy learning science and, in the senior phase, most students are achieving well. Staff across all sectors are becoming increasingly familiar with the national "experiences and outcomes" for science. But there is not enough depth in learning across all key areas of the sciences, the report says, and in primary schools, science is too often taught through inadequate topic-based approaches.

Work summit to be an all-party affair

A summit on vocational education is being planned by the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce. No date has been set, but commission chair Sir Ian Wood will lead the event, for all political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament, next year. The Scottish government and local authorities body Cosla will also be invited to discuss the findings of the commission's recent report, which recommends that schools should place more emphasis on vocational education. Representatives from schools, further education, business and training have also been invited to contribute.

The spoils of murder

Crime writer Ian Rankin (inset) has been awarded a "fellowship award" from the Adam Smith Foundation, the charitable trust of Fife College. The author of the Rebus novels was recognised for his commitment to supporting students through the Ian Rankin Writing Scholarship, which he established with the foundation in 2004. The foundation was set up in 1997 and has awarded #163;350,000 of scholarships to nearly 700 students.

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