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A day in FoIA: Queen rejects Government’s apprenticeship programme, Scottish seabed pollution, postcode lottery for school clothing grants,

Queen rejects Government’s apprenticeship programme

Buckingham Palace was approached by ministers keen for Royal estates to hire young people on a Government-backed programme.

But the Queen will instead keep her own apprenticeships for chefs, footmen and housemaids, according to The Times.

The response was revealed in a Freedom of Information request about the Apprenticeships Bill, which was in its early stages during Gordon Brown’s premiership.

The Act was designed to allow millions of pounds to be given to private companies, such as McDonald’s, Barclays and Vodafone, to offer apprenticeships in response to rising youth unemployment and fears that standards were falling.

Read more.

The Telegraph | September 4th 2012

FoI disclosures lead Salmon and Trout Association to identify worrying seabed pollution at Scottish salmon farms

The Salmon and Trout Association (S&TA) has today [5th September] published a comprehensive analysis of reports obtained from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency under Freedom of Information (FoI).

This has established that levels of seabed pollution at almost two thirds of Scottish marine salmon farms are either ‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘borderline’ – according to SEPA’s own categorisation.

The study reviewed 311 reports of seabed self-monitoring by farms between 2009 and March 2012.

Read more.

For Argyll | September 5th 2012

STV investigation reveals postcode lottery for school clothing grants

An STV investigation has uncovered that the level of school clothing grant issued by local councils varies by as much as £70 around the country.

Freedom of Information responses from 30 local authorities in Scotland show that parents on low incomes can be given anything between £40 and £110 to pay for school uniforms each year.

The Education Act stipulates that local authorities must make provision for the clothing of pupils who would otherwise be unable to afford schoolwear.

Read more.

Katy McCloskey | STV | September 5th 2012

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