A week in education
More than half of 6,217 university and college students who took part in a Scotland-wide survey are in commercial debt to banks and credit companies, and two thirds are in debt to friends and family. The results, outlined in a report from the National Union of Students Scotland entitled Overstretched and Overdrawn, reveal that college students were least likely to be concerned about any form of debt, with a third saying they had none. Despite the recommendation of the 1999 Cubie report that students should not work more than 10 hours a week to ensure their job did not interfere with their studies, the survey found that 70 per cent of those in a job worked longer than that.
A sheriff has ruled that a former pupil who is suing Fife Council over its failure to prevent her being bullied can take her case to court, rejecting an application from the authority to have it dropped. Rhona Wands, who is now aged 22, claims the council failed to tackle what it admits were her "unhappy experiences" at Markinch Primary and Auchmuty High in Glenrothes. Fife says every allegation was dealt with in a "proper and professional manner", adding that Ms Wands was "part of the problem" and was insolent to staff. If she is successful, her lawyer Cameron Fyfe says 20 other alleged victims could follow suit.
A Pounds 4 million Government initiative was launched this week to develop play among 5-13 year olds. Go Play will use the funding over two years, aiming to improve facilities and services where children have the least opportunities for play.
The man chosen to spearhead Glasgow's new Pounds 300 million "super-college", which has been on a somewhat slow fuse, is an engineer from the nuclear industry. Eric Tottman-Trayner will chair the shadow board drawn from the three city centre institutions which will merge - Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies. Mr Tottman- Trayner is also chair of the board at Central College and his new role will be seen as a significant boost to the ambitions of its principal, Paul Little, to take charge of the merged college.
A nursery in Kinross, run by Careshare, one of Scotland's largest private childcare providers, has received the worst report ever issued to a pre- five establishment by government inspectors. Croftbank has been rated "unsatisfactory" in all five areas examined by HMIE. A follow-up HMIE visit will not be carried out because Perth and Kinross Council has terminated its contract with Careshare. Labour has urged the Care Commission to investigate the provision of care at all 22 Careshare nurseries.