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A week in education

Students on higher education courses in universities and further education colleges appear to be more successful than before. There was a 6.6 per cent increase in the number who completed an HE course last year; compared to 1999 2000, the rise is almost 10 per cent. The contribution by FE colleges remains strong: while 40 per cent of the 74,515 students obtained a first degree, 37 per cent got a sub-degree such as a Higher National diploma or certificate.

The figures show the attraction of studying in Scotland dropped last year, with a 4 per cent fall in the number of graduates from the rest of the UK. There was a 6 per cent increase in those of Scottish origin.

An HE qualification still looks like a reliable passport to a job: unemployment among graduates last year remained stable at 5 per cent.

The Prince's Trust this week launched a new scheme for the one in five young people who are out of work in Scotland. The "Get Into" initiative is to help unemployed 16-25 year olds get into growth industries such as retail, hospitality and cooking. The programme follows a successful trial over two years which led to 70 per cent of those who took part finding a job, while another 10 per cent went into further training or education.

In a similar move, the charity NCH Scotland is aiming to help disadvantaged youngsters into work, and solve skills shortages in the construction trades. Its Youthbuild project was launched this week by Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Early Years, who said he wanted to see young people "reach for the sky".

NCH Scotland is linking the initiative to its UK campaign, Growing Strong, aimed at improving the emotional well-being of children.

Cardenden Primary in Lochgelly, Fife, has received an unfavourable inspection, with seven aspects of performance rated as "adequate" and two as "weak". Among the latter were the leadership of the head and the school's approach to self evaluation, although the HMIE report acknowledges an acting head was in post at the time. Scores of "very good" were handed out for pastoral care, the school's facilities and its partnership with parents.

The Government wants every primary school in Scotland to allow pupils to watch the live trans- mission from Sri Lanka on November 9 when the decision will be made on whether Glasgow is to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The bid team is putting together an online educational resource to encourage pupils to take part in sporting activities on the day.

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