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A week in education

Scotland's first "green" school is among the victims of soaring construction costs facing Highland Council. The primary planned for Acharacle near Ardnamurchan attracted five bids which all added pound;1 million to the estimated pound;2.4 million cost, because the school was regarded as remote and rural. Hugh Fraser, the council's director of education, said its rebuilding plans were subject to "considerable uncertainty" and were being hampered by a shortage of design, architectural and project management specialists.

The Scottish Executive's funding for the 1,500 young people in residential care looks like continuing under the SNP administration. It has announced a pound;3 million grant to support them after they move out of care and help them find employment or training. The cash is intended to benefit children in 227 residential establishments in Scotland and works out at pound;1,180 a bed.

The release of this year's exam results has prompted the Economic and Social Research Council to issue UK schools with a guide to independent learning. Based on new research by the council, the study will be sent out next month and will emphasise that "a school where everything depends on paper results and performance does not develop children as learners".

Stirling Council's psychological service has been chosen to franchise an Australian programme to schools in Scotland, to reduce anxiety disorders in people from pre-school to age 16. The FRIENDS initiative will be based on the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy. It is hoped that more than 1,000 practitioners will have had training by the end of the three-year initial phase.

Leckie and Leckie, the leading educational publisher, has teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland to issue school materials for the blind and partially sighted at the same time as their fellow pupils receive them. John Legg, director of RNIB Scotland, said it was "totally unacceptable" that children with a visual impairment had to wait weeks or months to receive suitable materials.

A pupil in a Highland primary has beaten thousands throughout the UK to win the Book at Bedtime 2007 award. Josie Tolliday, from Ardross Primary in Easter Ross, will have her story published by Puffin and win a Silentnight bed, the two companies behind the competition.

Student debt in Scotland is significantly less than the UK average, according to Push, the organisation which provides advice to prospective students. Based on interviews with nearly 2,000 students at 130 universities in Britain, it is estimated Scottish students will owe pound;9,580 by the time they graduate, pound;3,397 less than the UK figure.

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