A week in education

1st June 2007 at 01:00
The former head of the Scottish Executive's enterprise and lifelong learning department has criticised the new Government's decision to detach universities and colleges from the economic portfolio. In a newspaper article, Eddie Frizzell, now a visiting professor at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, suggests that removing the link "may make it harder to align learning priorities with employers' needs". He says this will be further hampered if the SNP-led executive fulfils its manifesto pledge to break up Scottish Enterprise and disperses its responsibilities for skills.

Research published by Save the Children and Glasgow University this week says that the estimated 250,000 children living in poverty in Scotland are additionally disadvantaged by being denied access to services such as swimming pools, youth clubs, dentists and local shops. Even where services are free, many children cannot afford the travel, the equipment needed or the costs of eating while they are out. Schools are a vital way into health and leisure facilities for children from low income households, according to the report Serving Children.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have appointed two of their newest MSPs to shadow the SNP ministers in the Scottish Executive. Jeremy Purvis, a Borders MSP and former assistant to Lord Steel, will speak for education and lifelong learning as well as shadowing the children and early years minister; the schools and skills brief will be looked after by Hugh O'Donnell, a Central Scotland list MSP who was a college lecturer.

East Dunbartonshire Council's Determined to Succeed team is linking up with the George Wimpey construction firm to provide what they believe is a unique partnership to boost enterprise education. The Builders of Tomorrow programme will include sponsorship of university bursaries worth pound;3,000 each and modern apprenticeships, as well as work experience and teacher placements. Schools will also be given support for activities such as motivational talks, workplace visits and mock interviews.

A film produced by young people is to be distributed around the country to help children to "grieve healthily". The 30-minute film, Dead Right, is being premiered today at Dundee Contemporary Arts and is intended to give teachers, carers, social workers and health staff the expertise they need in working with youngsters who have suffered trauma, bereavement and loss.

Staff at Barnardo's Rollercoaster service will be going on a roadshow throughout Scotland to raise awareness and offer training.

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