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This week

Additional places may prevent cuts

- The Scottish Funding Council and education secretary Michael Russell have been urged to consider providing additional student places at Heriot- Watt University's Galashiels campus in a bid to halt the proposed 25 per cent cut to staff at the site. Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume said the campus had a key role in efforts to build on the textiles sector in the region; additional places would add funding and allow the campus to expand.

Step to improve quality of life

- A pound;6 million fund to improve the quality of life for children across Scotland has been launched by the Scottish government and the Big Lottery Fund. The Communities and Families Fund will provide funding of between pound;250 and pound;10,000 to grassroots projects that focus on improving the health and well-being of children under the age of eight and their families.

VSO wants Scottish teachers

- International development charity VSO is seeking to recruit Scottish education professionals for 35 new volunteering placements in Ethiopia from September. VSO wants the volunteers to improve teacher training and education management to raise the quality and relevance of children's education. The charity is seeking applications from primary teachers and heads, teachers of English as a foreign language, and education managers and advisers, all with a minimum or two or three years' experience.

Child protection inquiry called for

- Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has called for a public inquiry into child protection after it was revealed two case reviews in Renfrewshire, including the case of toddler Declan Hainey who was murdered by his mother, found "systemic failures". The system was previously judged "excellent" by inspectors and the "Renfrewshire fiasco" raised questions about the competence of the inspection regime, she said.

Portobello High battle rages on

- An appeal hearing over plans to build a new Portobello High School opened in Edinburgh this week. The Portobello Park Action Group is trying to halt plans to build the new school on green space at Milton Road. Portobello For a New School campaigners, however, say the appeal is trying to stall the project, while the council warned further delays could force it to revisit the tender process.

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