News at a glance

Funding for new vocational school in question

A groundbreaking vocational school was officially launched this week, amid reports that key funding for the institution may now be in doubt. Billionaire Scottish businessman Jim McColl has established the state-of-the-art Newlands Junior College on the Glasgow industrial site where he once trained as an apprentice engineer. Teenagers who attend classes for two years will be guaranteed apprenticeships or a place in further education to help kick-start their careers. Construction work is nearly complete, but Glasgow City Council has now said that the college must prove its worth before the agreed pound;100,000 annual funding for the public-private project will go ahead.

Experts needed for poverty study

The effect of deprivation on the educational attainment of learners in Scotland will be explored in a new review. Education Scotland is seeking experts to conduct the study, which will attempt to establish the impact of such social problems and to help shape future research in order to find the most effective solutions. The closing date for proposals is 10 October. For more information, visit bit.lyPovertyStudy

Well-being initiatives unveiled at education festival

A pioneering project supporting the children of prisoners was among varied initiatives showcased at a Scottish education festival this week. The project, called Thrive, was one of a number of schemes featured at the Healthy Angus Learning Festival in Forfar in the Highlands on Tuesday. Other ideas for improving attainment and well-being included health-buddy schemes and lessons on growing vegetables at home.

Memorial lecture to tackle ICT learning

Experts will debate the appropriate age for children to begin learning about computing at a talk this autumn. The event, entitled "Computing: how young is too young?", will take place at the University of Edinburgh's Moray House School of Education and will also consider who should teach ICT and what resources they need to do so effectively. The talk on 12 November is being held in memory of the late Tom Conlon, a renowned ICT teacher and senior lecturer at Moray House, who died in 2008.

Arson suspected in primary school fires

Firefighters in Glasgow have appealed for information after two derelict schools were set alight on successive nights. About 40 firefighters and eight fire engines battled a blaze at the former Drumoyne Primary in the Govan area last week. The nearby Broomloan Road Primary was also destroyed by flames on the previous night (pictured). The authorities believe that both fires were started deliberately and have urged anyone with information to come forward.

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