News at a glance

20th February 2015 at 00:00

First recipients of attainment funding announced

The first local authorities to benefit from the Scottish government's pound;100 million Attainment Scotland Fund have been announced. The funding, which targets councils with the highest concentration of pupils living in deprived areas, will go to Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire. Education secretary Angela Constance also announced annual funding of pound;500,000 for a national mentoring scheme to improve the lives of looked-after children. Steven Paterson, depute director of the University of Strathclyde's Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (Celsis), said that establishing trusting relationships through mentoring could boost vulnerable young people's attainment.

New accident at school where wall killed pupil

A 12-year-old boy has broken his neck in an accident at the same school where a pupil was killed by a collapsing wall less than a year ago. Alan Ramsay also suffered broken bones in his jaw and neck when the goalpost he was swinging on in the gym of Liberton High School in Edinburgh fell down, knocking him unconscious. Last April, 12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett died at the school when she was crushed by a changing room wall. An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman said that the school was offering support to Alan and his family. She added that the council took "all incidents of this nature extremely seriously and immediate action has been taken to prevent anything similar happening".

Young mothers' unit loses battle with council

Dundee City Council has decided to axe the only qualified teacher post at Menzieshill High School young mothers' unit, despite a petition signed by more than 1,000 people urging the council to reconsider. The changes, agreed as part of budget cuts of pound;3.5 million, will also mean a relocation of the pioneering unit - set up nearly 25 years ago to help young mothers remain in education - from the high school to the Jessie Porter Nursery School five miles away. The move will mean that the young mothers attending the unit will be separated from other pupils.

Mental health worries dominate calls to ChildLine

Almost 52,000 telephone counselling sessions with children and young people were handled by ChildLine in Scotland in 2013-14, according to a report by the charity, with mental health issues now accounting for the majority of cases. Low self-esteem was the most common concern, accounting for 18,048 calls. Self-harm and related issues were responsible for 9,262 calls, and 5,921 children phoned as a result of suicidal thoughts. Across the UK, the number of children and young people contacting ChildLine with mental health issues, including depression and panic attacks, rose by 34 per cent.

Proposals sought for Scottish Learning Festival

Seminar proposals are being accepted for the 2015 Scottish Learning Festival. This year's theme is "raising attainment and achievement for all", with a focus on local partnerships and collaboration, self-evaluation and work-related learning. The festival will host about 100 seminars on 23 and 24 September at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. The closing date for submissions is 27 February. For more information, visit bit.lySLFseminars

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