News at a glance

Extra pound;100m announced to upgrade schools

The number of ageing schools across Scotland that will be upgraded or replaced will increase thanks to a new pound;100 million investment announced by the Scottish government. Councils will work with education secretary Michael Russell to identify projects that will benefit from the extra funding, which has been earmarked for the government's Schools for the Future programme. A total of 463 schools have been rebuilt or refurbished so far under the pound;800 million initiative.

More outdoor adventures for vulnerable pupils

An outdoor education programme helping disadvantaged children and teenagers across Scotland is being expanded as it marks its 10-year anniversary. More than 3,000 young people have taken part in educational activity holidays through the Scottish Youth Hostels Association's "Give us a break" initiative since it was established a decade ago. The association has launched a new fundraising scheme to help pay for more places for vulnerable young people to explore the countryside while developing key skills.

Government wrong on OECD, says union

Education in Scotland could be improved by sharing information with international colleagues, according to union leaders. The EIS teaching union said the Scottish government should reverse its decision to withdraw from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Teaching and Learning International Survey. The findings of the latest survey mirrored a recent EIS report highlighting concerns about teacher workload, well-being and professional development.

Students learn true cost of cocaine

Young Scottish people have been learning about the effects of the cocaine industry thanks to an initiative launched by the Colombian government. The Shared Responsibility project explains how Scotland's cocaine habit is destroying rainforests and communities in Colombia because coca plantations destroy key habitats. Pupils at Calderhead High School, in Shotts, have become the first in North Lanarkshire to take part in the educational programme, which has previously been run in West Lothian and the Highlands. Statistics show that Scotland was the world's largest consumer of cocaine per head of population in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, according to the World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Stevenson inspires students in national contest

A new national creative writing competition is reigniting interest in one of Scotland's greatest authors. Students from across the country recently took part in the Robert Louis Stevenson contest, which was opened to all Scottish schools this year after an earlier pilot in Edinburgh. It was organised by the Robert Louis Stevenson Club and Edinburgh Napier University, with the aim of encouraging pupils to find inspiration for their own writing in any aspect of Stevenson's life or work, in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The overall winner was Alexandra Lane, from Banchory Academy in Aberdeenshire.

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