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Smacking study uncovers hard-hitting truths

A major new study has found significant evidence that smacking poses a serious risk to children's development. University of Glasgow research found that young people who had been smacked before the age of 2 were twice as likely to have emotional and behavioural problems when they started school as those who had not. Lead researcher Dr Sonya Scott, a registrar in public health medicine with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said the findings underlined the need to provide parents with more help in dealing with misbehaviour. Researchers had analysed the behaviour of 1,600 Scottish children at about the age of 46 months, including 327 who had been smacked before they were 22 months old.

Sound to ease transition for blind students

Students are designing a special art installation that will help blind children to remember their old school building when they move into new premises in Morningside next year. Four third-year Edinburgh College of Art students have taken sounds from the Royal Blind School's campus in the city's Craigmillar Park, including footsteps, voices and the workings of the lift, to create the installation. The sounds have been recorded on to CDs, which will be presented to the school in a box labelled in large type and Braille.

Gaelic-speaking figures something to shout about

The Gaelic language has a "bright future", education secretary Michael Russell has said, despite a drop in the number of speakers. Their numbers fell by 16,632 between 1981 and 1991, he told an audience at the 40th-anniversary celebrations of Skye-based college Sabhal Mor Ostaig. But he added that in 2011, Gaelic speakers numbered about 58,000, a fall of only about 1,050 between the two most recent censuses. "That is an incredible reduction and a substantial achievement," Mr Russell said. "I last spoke at the college in 2009, and my topic was 'Turning the Tide'; this time, my theme is 'Dare We Hope?' My view is that we have very good reason to be hopeful."

Teacher struck off for owning indecent images

A secondary history teacher was last week removed from the teaching register after his conviction earlier in the year for possessing extreme pornography involving an animal. Ullapool High School teacher Martin Ingram was convicted at Dingwall Sheriff Court in February of taking or allowing to be taken an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of children. He waived his right to a full hearing before the General Teaching Council for Scotland's fitness-to-teach panel.

On their marks ...

Some of the UK's youngest entrepreneurs will pass on tips to teenagers at an event in Edinburgh next week. The Scottish Start-Up Summit, organised by 19-year-old Bruce Walker, will be attended by up to 500 Scottish business start-ups. Mr Walker, who is managing director of social enterprise We Are The Future, will speak alongside other guests including US entrepreneur Stacey Ferreira and Fraser Doherty, founder of food company SuperJam. The event takes place at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, on 20 November. For more information, see

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