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A week in education

The Cashback for Communities scheme, which reinvests money seized from serious and organised crime into community projects, is providing Pounds 1.2 million to run an 18-month Creative Identities project. Targeted at looked-after children and young carers, the project seeks to offer the youngsters better opportunities to use the arts and digital media to communicate. It will be delivered in partnership with Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council.

Details of Pounds 20.5 million of accelerated funding to boost Scottish colleges and universities were announced this week by the Scottish Funding Council. Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, said the Scottish Government had brought forward capital spend for colleges and universities in response to the current economic conditions.The SFC has issued details to all institutions of their individual allocations under the accelerated capital spend of Pounds 7.5 million in 2008-09 and Pounds 13m in 2009-10.

Renfrewshire Council has come under fire for plans to cut its music instruction service from 17 to 10 instructors and lessons from weekly to fortnightly. Local Labour MSP Wendy Alexander has launched a protest petition. The Educational Institute of Scotland warned the threat to music education reached across Scotland because of budget cutbacks and a fall in the number of specialist instructors employed in some local authority areas.


Lenzie Academy's engineering triumph had MSPs reaching for their table tennis bats last week. The East Dunbartonshire school won the Faraday Engineering Challenge Award at the Big Bang Fair in London earlier this month for its design of an automatic table tennis serving machine. Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop tested out the invention before opening a parliamentary debate on the place of science in the Scottish economy.

Education officials in Botswana are preparing to set up a teacher registration body which will be closely modelled on the General Teaching Council for Scotland. A nine-strong delegation from all parts of the African country's educational fraternity visited Edinburgh earlier this month to see Scotland's system in action. The latest visit was a continuation of strong links between the teaching professions in the two countries. In the 1990s, a delegation visited the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which led to Botswana's two-tier examination system roughly equivalent to Scotland's Standard grades and Highers.

A merger agreement between Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies was signed yesterday - the culmination of years of twists and turns in the long road to creating a single city-centre college in Glasgow. The merger will lead to the creation of a single institution, located in a Pounds 300 million campus. Earlier this month, Stow College pulled out of the New Campus Glasgow project, saying the development had changed so significantly from its original concept seven years ago of a co-location of four colleges on two sites that it could no longer support it.

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