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This Week

'Asthma time bomb' is ticking

- Scottish children could face an "asthma attack time bomb" when they return to school, as new data show that more are admitted to hospital at the beginning of term than in any other week. Last year, 3.5 times as many children were hospitalised in the first week of September than in mid-July. Asthma UK Scotland is urging parents to ensure that children take their preventer inhalers twice a day during the summer holidays.

Lessons behind bars unpopular

- Only a third of prisoners in Scottish jails have been in education programmes over the past six months. Scottish Prison Service figures, released after a Liberal Democrat parliamentary question, show that an average of 2,483 prisoners - including young offenders - attend an education programme each month. Alison McInnes MSP said: "In the face of stubbornly high reconviction rates, this is a problem which we cannot afford to ignore."

Stewardship set to make history

- A "youth stewardship" project will encourage young people to become more interested in local history. A trial in Shetland involving Historic Scotland involves the research, promotion and conservation of "historic assets" such as the Broch of Clickimin. Culture and external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said the trial would help to assess the feasibility of a national initiative, "which could not only benefit historic sites but also ... help to deliver Curriculum for Excellence at a local level".

New standards are spelled out

- New professional standards for teachers in Scotland came into effect yesterday. Developed by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, they include: standards for provisional and full registration; the standard for career-long professional earning; and standards for leadership and management. GTCS chief executive Anthony Finn said that the standards would "help to reconceptualise the teaching profession in Scotland".

Have your say on the environment

- Reliable data and reports on Scotland's environment are being pulled together in a single setting for the first time - and schools have a role to play. They can take part in a youth discussion to be run by Scotland's Environment Web this autumn and winter. It will include classroom discussions and debates, a Glow meet and a competition. Visit www.environment.scotland.gov.uk.

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