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This Week

More Scots apply for university

- The upward trend in 18-year-olds from Scotland applying for full-time university courses has continued, according to admissions service Ucas. The application rate rose by 0.3 per cent compared with last year, to 31.6 per cent. This was lower than in England (up 0.9 per cent to 35.1 per cent) and Northern Ireland (up 1.6 per cent to 48.3 per cent). The proportion of young Scots wanting to study elsewhere in the UK rose from 2.8 per cent to 3 per cent.

S6s see doors open at the OU

- A scheme that allows sixth-years to study with the Open University (OU) is targeting Scottish schools that tend to have lower numbers entering higher education. The Young Applicants in Schools Scheme offers OU modules to S6 students across Scotland and can cover individual costs of up to #163;200. It started as a trial in 2007 and has been growing ever since, but concerns remain about uptake in more deprived areas.

For more details, visit www.open.ac.ukchooseyass

Probationer site relaunched

- An award-winning online resource for probationers is being relaunched with the broadened aim of providing support to teachers either side of the induction year. The Probationer Teacher Scotland website makes way for www.in2teaching.org.uk. It gives information for student teachers, probationers and those in years two to five of their careers. The changes have been made in-house by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, at no extra cost.

Disparities in childcare costs

- The cost of childcare in Scotland can be nearly twice as expensive in some parts of the country than in others, new research reveals. The Children in Scotland report also shows that average nursery costs for a child under two are more than #163;100 per week, or #163;4.06 per hour. A family buying 50 hours of nursery care per week would face a bill of nearly #163;11,000 per year.

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