Schools share £2m to encourage innovation in education

MORE than 20 new schools are to share in a £2 million windfall after being enrolled in a scheme aimed at encouraging innovation in education, it was announced yesterday.

A further 21 schools have been signed up to the Scottish Executive's Schools of Ambition programme, taking the total involved to nearly 50.

Each school will receive a guaranteed 100,000 in public funding and could get extra cash from wealthy donors.

Among the latest schools to be added to the programme are Auchenharvie Academy in North Ayrshire, which is drawing up a new health education programme, and Gracemount High in Edinburgh, where pupils are being offered more work placements to improve their job prospects.

Hugh Henry, the education minister, said the award of School of Ambition status was in recognition of the schools' determination to "make a real difference to the lives of their pupils".

Jack McConnell, the First Minister, and the millionaire philanthropist Tom Hunter will today announce plans to further develop the programme to help reduce the number of youngsters not in education, training or employment.