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A week in education

The Scottish Government is to set up five action groups to examine the recommendations of the Crerar review on the scrutiny of public services. They will look at reducing the burdens of inspection and audit, while making sure services are accountable. The future of individual organisations, such as HMIE, remains unclear, but the Government says it wants scrutiny to be more "proportionate" and move to "self-assessment", two principles to which the education inspectorate says it is signed up.

The SNP's commitment to every pre-school child having "access" to a qualified teacher means teachers being present in pre-school centres. But Adam Ingram, the Minister for Children and Early Years, said in a parliamentary answer there would be no "minimum threshold" as to what constituted access.

A Roman Catholic primary on the first joint campus in North Lanarkshire has been graded "excellent" by HMIE for its climate and relationships, and equality and fairness. St Andrew's, which shares with Cumbernauld (pictured), received nine "very good" and four "good" gradings. Christine Pollock, the council's executive director for learning and leisure, said a "proactive approach" ensured they worked well together.

The organisation of the children's hearing system is to be streamlined, the Government announced last week. One body will be responsible for the children's Reporter service, the administration of hearings and the recruitment and training of children's panel members. The plans have been widely welcomed.

Top students in last year's art and design exams have been showing 130 examples of their best work at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh for the past 10 weeks. It drew more than 10,000 visitors. The display, organised by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, was chosen from the entries of students who got top grades in the 2007 Standard grade, Intermediate 2 and Higher exams.

Glasgow's literary festival, Aye Write!, is to fund an incentive scheme for young people who borrow library books. They are to be rewarded with points that will earn them a discount on books to buy at the festival (March 7-15).

The Government is to hold a "student summit" in March as part of the taskforce review it has set up to look at the future of the universities. Fiona Hyslop, the Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary, said students and union representatives would not be members of the taskforce because she did not want "a comprehensive and labour-intensive independent review which can take years to produce results".

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