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This week

Fees to go down at Fernhill

Fernhill School, a Catholic independent school on the outskirts of Glasgow with a roll of 225 pupils aged 4-18, is reducing its pound;8,976 annual fee over the next three years in a bid to combat a 7 per cent decline in the number of pupils entering its primary stage. Governor Tony Boswell said Fernhill's board had decided rises over the past decade were making a private school education unaffordable.

Visa crackdown risk to colleges

Scotland's universities and colleges will suffer disproportionately from a crackdown on student visas, Prime Minister David Cameron was warned this week. In a report on Government plans, the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee said bogus colleges were not a major issue north of the border. Scotland's Colleges, whose members have 6,000 non-EU students, said overseas recruitment would be damaged.

MoD closures to hit local schools

The closure by the Ministry of Defence of two army barracks in Edinburgh - Dreghorn and Redford - is expected to have a significant impact on a handful of schools. Ninety per cent of pupils at Colinton Primary have parents serving in the armed forces; Pentland, Oxgangs and St Mark's primaries and Firrhill High also draw significant proportions of their pupil rolls from armed forces families.

Penicuik schools merger shelved

A proposal by Midlothian Council to create a split-site secondary school in Penicuik to combat falling pupil rolls at Penicuik High and Beeslack Community High has been dropped following local opposition. The authority consulted local people on its plan to use one school for S1-3 pupils' broad general education while S4-6 pupils undertook their senior phase in the other building. Alternatives will now be explored.

Success is in Auchlone's nature

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten in Crieff, which has pioneered early education for under-fives in an outdoor environment, has been judged "excellent" across all five areas of inspection by HMIE. Inspectors commented on the children's "challenging learning experiences indoors, outdoors and beyond" which allowed them to progress with confidence in their learning.

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