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This week

pound;750K for Play, Talk, Read

The Play, Talk, Read campaign - part of the Scottish Government's renewed focus on early years - has been given an additional pound;750,000 to fund its expansion. An independent evaluation of the campaign found that its second tranche, launched at the beginning of this year, had increased the frequency of actual playing and reading behaviours by 7 per cent in each case.

Running of universities

Education Secretary Michael Russell has announced a review of the way universities are run. A panel of five will be chaired by Ferdinand von Prondzynski, principal of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Mr Russell told the Scottish Parliament that the panel would publish its remit before the summer and issue its conclusions by the end of the year. The panel is to include unions, students and a chair of court.

Lecturers begin industrial action

Lecturers at Edinburgh's Telford College embarked on a programme of industrial action this week in response to management plans to cut about 50 full-time jobs, including 25 lecturing posts, and 68 temporary-contract jobs. A further 50 days of strike action are set to continue following the college's summer break.

`Illegal' changes to agreement

A former EIS president, Peter Quigley, has lodged a complaint with First Minister Alex Salmond, claiming that recent changes to the teachers' agreement by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers are illegal. He claims that the Scottish Government's involvement in the meeting of 23 March breached the Scotland Act of 1998 because the meeting was held after Parliament had been dissolved - on 22 March. This meant that although Education Secretary Michael Russell continued in office, he was not entitled to pursue policies and amend contracts which required the authority of Parliament, claims Mr Quigley.

Earlston `Peer Factor' winner

Earlston High pupil Mary-Beth Patterson, 15, has been named of one of three "Peer Factor" winners in a competition run by the House of Lords to encourage young people's involvement in and understanding of the institution. She nominated Andrew Hind, former chief executive of the Charity Commission, for a seat in the Lords, arguing he had used his career in accountancy to help many charities. He beat Stephen Fry, Simon Cowell and JK Rowling to a place in the upper chamber.

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