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This week

Achievement gaps revealed

- A survey has shone light on the wide disparity in educational achievement in different parts of Scotland. Analysis of Westminster constituencies by the University and College Union showed Glasgow North East had 27.5 per cent of constituents with no qualifications - the highest figure in the UK. The lowest Scottish figure was 4.3 per cent in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, placing it 603rd out of 650 constituencies.

Lecturers vote to strike over pay

- Lecturers at Reid Kerr College in Paisley have voted for strike action over a salary dispute. The further education college is to merge with Clydebank and James Watt colleges, where staff have had salary offers; Clydebank staff settled in December for a 1 per cent salary inrease. Reid Kerr staff have been offered no pay rise but claim workloads have increased "hugely". Over 87 per cent of those voting at Reid Kerr chose strike action, on a turnout of just under 70 per cent.

Raised prospects for school-leavers

- Figures reveal a record 89.9 per cent of school leavers in Scotland going into work, training or education. The Skills Development Scotland statistics also show a 1.5 per cent rise in the rate of leavers going to university and a 1.2 per cent decrease in the proportion unemployed and seeking work. The government attributes the improvements to its Opportunities for All initiative, guaranteeing all 16- to 19-year-olds an employment or training opportunity.

Coatbridge to join college merger

- Coatbridge College (pictured) has indicated its intention to join Cumbernauld and Motherwell colleges in a merger. South Lanarkshire College is unwilling to merge, however, and prefers a "federation" between itself and the new college. The four colleges had originally agreed to a looser, federal arrangement, before Cumbernauld and Motherwell last month announced their plans to merge. The new college has yet to choose a name.


- On 18 January we stated that Tim Simons, head of the Scottish government's curriculum unit, had said that two or three times more than the #163;4 million set aside by government for the languages initiative would be necessary for it to be "well planned" and "thought through". He actually said he thought it could be done for less than estimated by an expert group if "well planned and well thought through". We apologise for the error.

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