A Week in Education

19th November 2010 at 00:00

The number of schools entering pupils for Scottish Baccalaureates has gone up to 130 - 37 for the languages bacc and 93 for science. This compares with last year's total of 76 (13 in languages and 63 in science). A spokesman for the Scottish Qualifications Authority said the increase was in line with what the exams body expected. "All new qualifications tend to have relatively low uptake numbers initially and then gradually follow an upward course," he said.

A higher education summit on Monday brought together political parties, university and college leaders, representatives from industry, from the University and College Union and the National Union of Students Scotland to explore ideas for next month's Green Paper on higher education funding. "Only one idea is off the table," said Education Secretary Michael Russell. "This Scottish Government firmly believes in the principle of the state being the primary provider for education and not the student."

A UCAS report on university admissions for 2009-10 shows demand has grown strongly but the number of students accepted remains the same. The number of unplaced applicants rose by 52,938 this year, as the overall share of those finding places fell below 70 per cent, compared with 75.3 per cent last year. Of the 200,000 applicants who were unplaced in 2010, over 94,000 either declined all their offers or withdrew voluntarily from the applications process. UCAS is looking at new ways to present the data to give applicants and universities the tools they need to make "effective decisions".

Scottish Government research shows investment in early years could save pound;131 million a year. The study, which looked specifically at the benefits in Scotland, found short-term savings from birth to age five could be up to pound;37,400 a year per child in severe cases and pound;5,100 in moderate cases. Medium-term savings from birth to eight could be up to pound;131m a year, but failure to intervene in the long term could lead to a ninefold increase in costs to the public purse.

Children's minister Adam Ingram launched a new national approach for preventing and tackling bullying this week. Developed by the Scottish Anti-Bullying Steering Group, it will create a national framework so that all agencies work together, in a consistent way, to deal with the problem. "It will ensure that there is consistency across the country and between school and out-of-school groups, as to how best to tackle these problems," said the minister.

A BBC documentary on young carers revealed that up to 700,000 children in the UK could be caring for a family member - four times the official estimate. A survey of more than 4,000 secondary pupils suggested one in 12 had moderate or high levels of care responsibilities, including helping a close relative to bathe, dress or go to the toilet. The children's commissioners of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England have called for the UK Government and devolved administrations to ensure that this largely invisible group gets the support it needs.

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