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This week

Excellence across the board

Two schools have received across-the-board "excellent" ratings from inspectors: Whitelees Primary in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, and Kersland School in Paisley, Renfrewshire. Whitelees won praise for its ambitious children, attainment in writing and maths, its "very effective" teamwork and the headteacher's inspirational leadership. Kersland, a special school, showed innovative approaches to the curriculum, a focus on high expectations and continuous improvement, and outstanding leadership across the school.

Lawyer starts a fees fight

A human rights lawyer wants to challenge Scottish Government plans to charge students from England fees for studying north of the border while Scottish undergraduates pay nothing. Phil Shiner, of Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers, is gathering support from students with the intention of taking class action against the Government, on the basis of European human rights law. The Scottish Government has insisted its policy is lawful.

Split-site school ruled out

Midlothian Council has ruled out a merged split-site secondary school for Penicuik, after overwhelming public opposition. More than 1,000 submissions were received to a consultation on the merger of Beeslack Community High and Penicuik High; 90 per cent were against the proposal. The council has this week asked officials to explore alternative ideas for tackling falling school rolls in Penicuik.

Gaelic centre highly praised

An HMIE report gives high praise to further education at Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture. Inspectors scrutinised the college's Easter short courses programme and An Cursa Inntrigidh, the award-winning distance-learning programme. Excellent practice was identified in Learning through Living Culture, a five-day residential course to improve oral skills and knowledge of Skye's history and culture.

A Right Wee Blether coming

Children's Commissioner Tam Baillie has announced A Right Wee Blether, billed as a "creative conversation" with children aged two to five. Running from 12 September until 31 October, the programme builds on his 2010 national consultation in which about 74,000 school-age children told Mr Baillie what his job should be focusing on.

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