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RE wrangle ends in pound;1K settlement

Western Isles Council has agreed an out-of-court settlement of pound;1,000 with a parent over a religious education wrangle at his son's school, Berneray Primary. David Michael, an atheist, claimed he had been victimised on the grounds of religion. But the council denied discrimination and said it settled the case to save the cost of a civil hearing. A spokesman added that Mr Michael objected to the inclusion in lessons of the religious teachings of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and wanted to change the curriculum.

Three primaries face closure

Three schools in Orkney, including Burray Primary which opened only three years ago, have been earmarked for closure. As TESS went to press, councillors were due to decide whether a study into the fate of Burray Primary, North Walls Junior High's secondary department on Hoy and Stenness Primary should go ahead. The council says closure would save up to pound;600,000. It has agreed to cut pound;950,000 from its education budget.

`Responsive' curriculum

Adam Smith College in Fife has been praised in an HMIE report for its "relevant and responsive curriculum", particularly in construction, renewables and engineering. Inspectors praised the college's "very responsive" additional learning support services, as well as staff-student relations, assessment methods and the use of relevant resources.

Arts `non-core' activities face chop

Strathclyde University has launched a consultation on proposals to close the Collins Gallery, Ramshorn Theatre and its music directorate, arguing that they are not "a core activity" when it has to cut pound;12 million in the next financial year. A university document claimed the three services cost pound;344,185 in salaries and expenses in 2009-10. It is proposing instead to put in place a new cultural affairs strategy next year worth pound;100,000.

Burns new NUS president

Liam Burns, the NUS Scotland president, has been elected UK president of the National Union of Students. He will take up his position officially for an initial one-year term on 1 July, 2011, and will remain NUS Scotland president until then. He studied physics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. As NUS Scotland president he has secured commitments from all major parties in Scotland, except the Scottish Conservatives, to rule out the introduction of fees in the next Scottish Parliament.

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