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A week in education

The OECD's annual compendium, Education at a Glance, has confirmed the economic advantages of high participation in higher education. It found that in all countries with comparative data in the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development, university graduates earn more money and find jobs more easily than people who have not had a university education. However, fears of a crowding-out effect, whereby more graduates would mean more unemployment at the lower end of the scale, appear not to be justified.

Staff at Scotland's Care Commission, who set training and educational standards and register those working with children and vulnerable adults are being balloted on industrial action over a delay in pay negotiations. A spokesman for Unison, which represents the majority of the care regulation staff, said the union asked for a 3.5 per cent rise in May 2006, but negotiations had been held up by discussions over a new pay and grading structure. It claims the Government's Public Sector Pay unit, which has to approve any pay deal, is causing the impasse.

More than 1,700 children who started primary school in Scotland this autumn may be at risk of entering the group not in education, employment or training at 16-18, costing the economy more than pound;1 billion, as a result of their communication support needs. The findings are revealed by children's communication charity I CAN, in its latest report, The Cost to the Nation of Children's Poor Communication: Scotland edition.

New research on the attitudes of children to poverty in Britain shows that nearly half of young people think missing out on trips or not having the correct uniform are the most telling indicators of being poor. The research, commissioned by the "Dare to Care: Make time to help end child poverty" campaign, also reveals that a fifth of children think having a mobile phone is as important as having a book to read at home.

Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alex-ander has announced her frontbench at the Scottish Parliament: Rhona Brankin education; Ken Macintosh schools; Mary Mulligan children and early years; Richard Baker higher education and student support; John Park skills.

The National Autistic Society Scotland, part of the UK's leading charity for people affected by autism, has opened Scotland's first campus for young people with autism and complex needs at Daldorch House School in Catrine, East Ayrshire. The campus will provide year-round education and supported living facilities for adults aged 18 to 21.

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