There are 1,261 "deadly schools" in Scotland, where asbestos building material is present. Under a freedom of information request, 23 councils out of the 32 which replied confirmed the figure. The official view is that asbestos is safe if left undisturbed. But it can lead to mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, which has been linked to the deaths of 73 teachers in Britain between 1991 and 2000. A number of councils say they have spent millions of pounds removing asbestos from schools.
A South Lanarkshire head is under investigation after being accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Douglas Cosgrove, 54, of St Andrew's and St Bride's High in East Kilbride was reported to police on October 2, the day his school opened. A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman confirmed that a 54-year-old man is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal in connection with the alleged assault.
The number of UK undergraduate applicants accepted by Scottish universities and colleges this session saw the lowest increase of any of the home nations. Figures from the admissions service Ucas reveal a rise of 2.7 per cent for Scottish institutions, 3.1 per cent in Northern Ireland, 5.7 per cent in Wales and 11.4 per cent in England. Total numbers, including overseas students, were up 9.7 per cent.
The former primary teacher behind the growing use of computer games in education has been given a special achievement award. Derek Robertson, the national adviser in emerging technologies at Learning and Teaching Scotland, received the accolade by Handheld Learning 2008.
The charity linked to Rangers Football Club has pledged Pounds 50,000 to produce books for blind and partially-sighted children. The winners of this year's Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books will be transcribed into Braille, audio and large print. In the UK, 96 per cent of books cannot be read by blind people, described as "astonishing" by Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot.
Five projects are to share a Pounds 941,000 international lifelong learning fund to promote colleges and universities. Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the money will go to the Scottish Universities International Group, the National Union of Students Scotland, the University of the West of Scotland, Scotland's Colleges International and the Glasgow Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.