This Week

Russell calls for college debate

College principals and chairs have been invited to meet Education Secretary Michael Russell to discuss reforms of post-16 education in a debate to be held early next month. The Scottish Government has proposed greater collaboration between colleges, including possible mergers. John Spencer, convener of Scotland's Colleges' Principals' Convention, welcomed the opportunity for a "constructive ongoing dialogue".

Youth music funding extended

A successful youth music scheme will run for another year after the Scottish Government agreed to extend funding. Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced a further pound;10 million to continue the Youth Music Initiative throughout 2012-13. The scheme, launched in 2003, has helped thousands of children and young people to create and appreciate music. There are more than 300 projects each year, covering all musical genres, age groups and teaching techniques.

Scholarship fires up pupils

Firefighters' children in Grampian are being offered a scholarship to one of Scotland's most prestigious schools, it was reported this week. The two-year scholarship at Gordonstoun is being funded through a donation from former pupil Bob Boyd, to mark the 70th anniversary of links between the school and Grampian Fire and Rescue Service. Trained pupils run their own voluntary unit, Gordonstoun Fire Service, responding to around 50 calls annually.

Practical politics

Pupils are running their own youth workshops next week to help young people raise issues in the Scottish Parliament. Teenagers from Turnbull High in Bishopriggs will lead practical sessions explaining activities including how to raise a petition, campaign and work with MSPs. The free workshops are aimed at local groups of 16 to 25-year-olds who want to raise issues with the parliament but don't know how to go about it.

Qualifications guide launched

A new guide has been launched to help teachers explain unfamiliar qualifications to parents, carers and pupils. The schools toolkit explains the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership, which recognises all standard Scottish courses. The aim is to help pupils choose the best courses for them and highlight how they meet Curriculum for Excellence. The toolkit will also improve awareness of different learning opportunities to help pupils fulfil their potential.

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