News at a glance

25th October 2013 at 01:00

Exercise equals mc2

Children who exercise regularly are more likely to excel in academic tests later in life, a report by the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee suggests. Moderate to vigorous exercise in particular seems to help girls do better in science, according to research involving about 5,000 teenagers who were part of the Children of the 90s health study. The report is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors plan to conduct further research to build on their initial findings.

Trouble in Fife after alleged financial misconduct

A college has repaid more than #163;5 million in European Union grants after alleged financial misconduct by staff. A further #163;1.2 million may have to be repaid to another funding body, an investigation by a financial watchdog found. From at least 2007, Adam Smith College, now merged with Carnegie College to become Fife College, submitted claims to funding bodies that were "inaccurate, unsupported by evidence and overstated", said Caroline Gardner, auditor general for Scotland, in a report to the Scottish Parliament. The college chairman, secretary and principal resigned last year. Fife College said measures had been taken to address the shortcomings.

Scotland can be independently wealthy

Education secretary Michael Russell told the SNP annual conference in Perth last week that Scottish independence was necessary "to achieve equity in our schools and make sure that poverty ... is not educational destiny". He announced that bursaries for further education students would rise to #163;105 million. The minimum income for higher education students is to rise by #163;250 a year to #163;7,500, and from 2015-16 postgraduate students will be able to apply for a loan towards tuition fees and up to #163;4,500 a year for living expenses.

Council deemed to be noteworthy

East Ayrshire has jointly won the UK's top trophy for music education in local schools. Judges from the NMC (National Music Council) Music Education Awards gave the Major Trophy to East Ayrshire Council and the SoundStorm agency from Bournemouth and Poole. No other Scottish authority won a prize. East Ayrshire's music team will receive its award at a ceremony in Manchester on 15 November. This is its ninth consecutive annual NMC prize.

Cooperate to innovate

Partnerships between colleges and schools have the potential to "transform opportunities for young people" and "create competitive economic advantage for Scotland's employers", said education secretary Michael Russell. In a letter, he advised the Scottish Funding Council to engage with college sector leaders, local authorities and others to find ways to implement the Wood Commission's recommendations in the short term. He said that plans drawn up with partners should then be reflected in outcome agreements with colleges. Mr Russell added that a formal government response was to follow.

Outside chances

A new #163;10.6 million West Dunbartonshire school building has been designed so students spend as much time outside its front doors as possible. Dumbarton Academy now has an outdoor gym, an outdoor theatre, an outdoor dining area and a "Walk of Life" - the school's history etched into a path leading to the entrance. There are plans for two floodlit, all-weather pitches, a grass pitch and a 100m running track. It is the latest school to open under the Scottish government's #163;1.25 billion Schools for the Future programme.

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