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This Week

High uptake for HPV programme

NHS Scotland says that uptake rates of the HPV immunisation programme for girls currently in S2 have already reached 91.2 per cent for the first dose and 85.5 per cent for the second. This is the third year of the programme aimed at combating cervical cancer. Uptake rates are likely to increase slightly, for the second dose in particular, as some girls may have missed the early HPV vaccination sessions in school.

Poor result for building survey

A survey by Ipsos Mori has shown that 30 per cent of parents of primary school children rated their school buildings as fair or very poor, while 25 per cent had the same view of the school's playgrounds and playing fields. Discipline was the top issue for parents of secondary pupils - 24 per cent rated it as fair or very poor, while in the most deprived areas this jumped to 40 per cent.

Teacher killed by terrorist bomb

A former teacher at Stromness Academy in Orkney was killed last week after a terrorist bomb exploded at a bus stop in Jerusalem. Mary Gardner, an evangelical Christian who was studying Hebrew in Israel, had spent the past 20 years involved in missionary work in Togo in Africa translating the New Testament into a language called Ife. James Stockan, vice-convener of Orkney Islands Council, described her as a "brave, tenacious lady".

Call for public service reform

The Centre for Scottish Public Policy thinktank is advocating radical public service reform in its manifesto. "If a school community wishes to remove itself from local authority control and be run by an able, competent community group, perhaps in a co-operative model, then let them break free," it says. Likewise, it calls for colleges and universities to be allowed to manage collectively all the public sector capital assets in their geographical boundary, should they so wish.

Course cuts are `perverse'

Education Secretary Michael Russell has come under fire from the former director of Universities Scotland, David Caldwell, over his call for an immediate moratorium on plans to cut courses at Glasgow University - moves he described as "perverse" and based on "false figures". Mr Caldwell warned that Mr Russell's intervention risked the autonomy of Scottish higher education and urged him to stay out of the day-to-day running of universities.

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