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This week

Boys more confident talkers

Boys are more confident communicators than girls, particularly in the classroom, according to what is billed as the first large-scale UK survey of youngsters' views on communication skills. The National Literacy Trust and the Communication Trust - for the "Hello" campaign, the national year of communication - surveyed 6,865 people aged 8-16. Some 69 per cent of boys, compared with 57 per cent of girls, were "very confident" or "confident" when speaking in front of classmates.

Be part of the solution

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is inviting applications to a new "Young Academy of Scotland". It will encourage young academics and professionals to contribute to solve key challenges of the modern age. There is no age limit, but the most likely candidates will be in their late-20s or 30s and will have demonstrated promise in their professional career or academic studies. The closing date is 1 July.


Independents drawn to Glow

Independent schools want access to Glow, the intranet for Scottish state schools. The Scottish Council of Independent Schools made the call at its annual general meeting. It is unhappy that information on the publicly- funded resource, such as Curriculum for Excellence and national assessment resources, is not open to use and peer review by the sector's 3,500 teaching staff.

Commonwealth tartan contest

Schools can take part in a competition to design the official tartan for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It opens on Monday (9 May) and designs can incorporate as many as all six colours in the Glasgow 2014 logo. Organisers at Learning and Teaching Scotland hope the competition will provide opportunities for learning about sustainability, citizenship and international education. The closing date is 17 June. Contact

Prize for literacy champion

Tommy MacKay, known for his 10-year project eradicating illiteracy in West Dunbartonshire pupils, has received the British Psychological Society's prize for public engagement. Having received his award at the society's annual conference, Professor MacKay said: "Psychology will prove to have more potential to improve the human condition than technology, economics or politics."

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