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This week

Boon for student support

Student support is to be maintained at its current level, thanks to top-up funding of pound;11.4 million, finance secretary John Swinney said in his budget statement. The government is giving an additional pound;8 million to help deliver a college or training place for 16 to 19-year-olds. Added to the pound;15 million Transformation Fund for college reform and pound;5 million for employability schemes announced last week, this will mean an additional pound;40 million for the college sector.

Fire forces students to flee

Students were forced to flee the University of Strathclyde union after a fire broke out in a neighbouring building on Tuesday night. More than 50 firefighters dealt with what Strathclyde Fire and Rescue described as a "well-developed blaze". They had been called at 7.16pm to the James Weir building, where hazardous chemicals are stored.

Sex exploitation problem studied

The Scottish government has commissioned research into the scale of child sex exploitation. Children's minister Aileen Campbell responded in parliament to MSPs' questions on a petition from Barnardo's Scotland. It defines child sexual exploitation as being when an under-18 is involved in sexual activity for which money or payment-in-kind is given to the young person or to a third party.

`Drunk' teacher faces the GTCS

A 58-year-old maths teacher from Lanark appeared before the GTCS to face allegations of attending work under the influence of alcohol, conducting himself in an inappropriate manner and using inappropriate language. A pupil filmed Eric Ralston and uploaded footage to YouTube of an incident at Glasgow's Hillhead High in February 2010. He allegedly called pupils "pitiful scum". The hearing was adjourned until 2 March.

SSTA depute leader named

Alan McKenzie will become depute general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association from 31 March. Mr McKenzie taught in Dumbarton Academy and Lochgilphead High before taking on the role of principal teacher, then faculty head, at Greenock Academy. He was SSTA president from 2003-05, before joining the union's staff in 2007 as a professional officer.

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