This week

8th February 2013 at 00:00

Push for physical activity research

- A new centre is being established at the University of Edinburgh to drive research related to physical activity, as Scotland steps up its efforts in this area. The main speaker at its launch was Fiona Bull, who led the Toronto Charter on Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action. The government is planning a Scottish version of the charter, and has been taking advice from Professor Bull.

Aberdeen school mergers debated

- A major shake-up of Aberdeen's school estate was about to be considered by councillors as TESS went to press; six primaries would merge into three, while #163;14 million would be allocated to refurbish Victorian buildings. The overall roll for primaries is expected to increase from 12,592 to 15,008 by 2020. Pupil numbers in 20 schools are predicted to exceed capacity within four years, creating a shortfall of about 1,000 places, but rolls are falling in other schools.

Higgs Prize is announced

- An annual prize for schools to honour the world-renowned University of Edinburgh scientist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, has been announced by the Scottish government. The annual Higgs Prize will offer outstanding young physicists the chance to win a trip to the Cern facility in Switzerland, where work continues on researching the Higgs particle, named after Professor Peter Higgs. He said: "Supporting the next generation of scientists is to be warmly welcomed."

Ruling on call-in over closures

- The Scottish government had a right to call in school closure plans by Western Isles Council, appeal judges have said - paving the way for publication of long-awaited findings from the national commission on rural education. Ministers initially rejected the closures of Carloway and Shelibost primaries and S1-S2 education at Shawbost. The local authority successfully challenged this move, but the government appealed and three appeal judges have now ruled the call-in valid.

Principal for new Ayrshire College

- Heather Dunk has been appointed as principal of the new regional Ayrshire College. The Kilmarnock College principal will lead the new college to be created out of the merger of Ayr College, Kilmarnock College and the Kilwinning Campus of James Watt College. The merger is due to be completed by August. Mrs Dunk has been principal at Kilmarnock since 2008.

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