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This Week

Step closer for the young vote

- Sixteen and 17-year-olds came one step closer to voting in the referendum on independence next year with the publication of the Scottish Referendum (Franchise) Bill this week. Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon visited James Gillespie's High in Edinburgh to meet students as she launched the bill. "No one has a bigger stake in the future of our country than today's young people and it is only right they are able to vote," she said.

Graduate to aid Malawi effort

- The delivery of school meals to children in Malawi is to be aided by a Scottish graduate, education secretary Michael Russell announced. Through Adopt an Intern Ltd, Scottish government funding will allow a graduate to spend a year working for charity Mary's Meals' biggest project in Malawi, which provides a daily school meal to nearly 600,000 poor children. The successful candidate will receive a salary of #163;16,000.

New chief for Tayside College

- Christina Potter has been appointed principal of the new Tayside College. She has been principal of Dundee College, set to merge with Angus College in November, since August 2007. She began her career in FE as a computing lecturer, then moved into various management posts. She has also served on a number of Scottish Funding Council committees. Her appointment continues the line of female appointees in the new regionalised sector.

Call for action on child neglect

- A Scottish council is encouraging the public to "Speak Out" if they suspect child neglect or abuse. The campaign aims to challenge members of the community to put themselves in the child's shoes after a Citizens' Panel found people would be reluctant to make the call. "Better to be wrong than let even one abused child go without help," said Joe McIlwee, chair of Inverclyde's Community Health and Care Partnership.

Residents back school in a park

- A consultation over using Portobello Park as the site for the new Portobello High has received overwhelming support from Edinburgh residents and local people, says the city council. The results showed that 70 per cent of 12,018 Edinburgh respondents supported it, with 76 per cent of those in the local area giving it their backing. It was one of the highest rates of responses to a local public consultation, the council said.

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