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This week

Principal hired for new college

- The board of the proposed college for the west region of Scotland - created from a merger of the colleges of Reid Kerr, Clydebank and James Watt in Greenock - has appointed Audrey Cumberford, principal of Reid Kerr College, as its principal and chief executive.

She will take up her job in August 2013, when she will become responsible for over 35,000 students, some 1,000 staff and an anticipated turnover of about #163;55 million.

Consultation on Portobello Park

- City of Edinburgh Council has launched a consultation of residents' views on its proposal to take a Private Bill to the Scottish Parliament in early 2013 to allow it to use Portobello Park as the site for the new Portobello High. In September, the Portobello Park Action Group won an appeal to the Court of Session to prevent the building of a new school on common land.

Unions call for medical guidance

- Unison Scotland has urged the Scottish government to update guidance on the use of medicines in schools. A survey of support staff and school nurses carried out by Unison and the Royal College of Nursing, found that a growing number of children with complex health needs were being put at risk. Staff were being put under pressure to care for them without sufficient training, the unions claimed.

Fund to support work experience

- A fund to help make internships affordable for University of St Andrews students who might otherwise be unable to take up offers of work experience, has been set up by the university's rector, Alistair Moffat, and the rector's assessor, Chloe Hill. The Rectors' Fund will offer a standard grant of #163;500 to students taking up unpaid and paid internships.

Regionalisation cost up to #163;54m

- The cost of the Scottish government's regionalisation programme for colleges is set to rise to #163;54 million by 2015, the Scottish Funding Council has revealed in evidence to the Public Audit Committee of the Scottish Parliament. SFC chief executive Mark Batho said his organisation was on track to deliver savings through college mergers of #163;18 million in 2013-14 and #163;33 million in 2014-15. But his letter to the committee also said additional funding would be required for investment in the merger process, bringing the total spending to #163;54 million by the end of 2014-15 - #163;3 million more than the potential aggregate savings.

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