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Free nursery places axed

The Scotsman

A Scottish council has been criticised for scrapping free private nursery places for children to save money. East Dunbartonshire became Scotland's first local authority to end new funding for private pre-school education for three and four-year-olds. Parents were told that their children will have to go to state-run nurseries, sparking claims that the council's funding squeeze is "strangling" private-sector provision.

Youngsters on scrapheap

Daily Mail

A "wasted" generation of 80,000 young Scots has been dumped on the unemployment scrapheap, a new report shows. It reveals that one in five of all 18 to 24-year-olds wants to work, but is unable to find a job. The Office for National Statistics report also shows the number of jobless youngsters has more than doubled over the past three years.

No fines for litterbugs

Daily Record

A council has been told by lawyers that they cannot force litterbug kids to pay pound;50 fines. South Lanarkshire this week announced it would hand fixed-penalty notices to under-16s outside schools. But legal eagles revealed that the local authority has no power to enforce the punishments in court. Civil rights campaigners had slammed the council for being too heavy-handed.

X-Factor hopeful has pupils in fine voice

The Sun

X-Factor contestant Andrew Merry is inspiring pupils at his old school to follow in his footsteps. His former music teacher Alison Cravens has revealed that the Scot's success on the ITV show has made it cool for kids to sing at Ayr's Kyle Academy. The 20-year-old reached the live finals with The Risk after being axed twice earlier in the contest.

Madrassa abuse

Sunday Mail

More than 400 allegations of physical abuse at Britain's madrassas have been made in the past three years, figures show. Yet only 10 cases - just 2.5 per cent - went to court. The figures have raised concerns over the extent of abuse in the part-time Islamic schools. They were revealed in a report for BBC Radio 4's File on 4.

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