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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 15 September 2005

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Family Law (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-3233—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Family Law (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 4, Abstentions 23).

2. Family Law (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-2737—That the Parliament , for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Family Law (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase, in consequence of the Act, in expenditure charged on, or payable out of, the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 94, Against 2, Abstentions 17).

3. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport, and on Finance and Public Services and Communities were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6. Quality Teachers for the 21st Century: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-3278—That the Parliament recognises the significant investments made by the Scottish Executive in developing the capabilities and professionalism of teachers in Scotland; notes the increase in teacher recruitment and the delivery of improved initial teacher education; welcomes the implementation of radically improved teacher induction arrangements; acknowledges the widening of opportunities and improved quality of Continuing Professional Development for teachers and the development of chartered teacher programmes; recognises the importance of teaching standards in delivering higher educational attainment, and welcomes the Executive's commitment to secure quality teachers for the 21st century.

Mr Adam Ingram moved amendment S2M-3278.2 to motion S2M-3278—

Leave out from “the significant” to end and insert—

“that Scottish teachers are the key drivers for excellence in our education system; further recognises that there will be a continuing need for significant investment in teacher recruitment and induction, initial teacher education and continuous professional development; notes the challenging nature of the Scottish Executive’s pledge to increase teacher numbers to 53,000 by 2007, given that 40% of Scottish teachers are due to retire in the next 10 years; is concerned that the recruitment of mathematics teachers is falling behind targets, threatening promised class-size reductions; commends the work of the General Teaching Council for Scotland in developing quality teaching, and calls on the Executive to fully fund the initial part of the chartered teacher programme for all Scottish teachers”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-3278.1 to motion S2M-3278—

Leave out from “; welcomes” to end and insert—

“, while recognising with concern the increasing number of teaching posts vacant for more than three months, welcomes the implementation of radically improved teacher induction arrangements; acknowledges the widening of opportunities and improved quality of Continuing Professional Development for teachers and the development of chartered teacher programmes, but notes the low uptake of these programmes among teachers; recognises the importance of teaching standards in delivering higher educational attainment, and welcomes the Executive’s commitment to secure quality teachers for the 21st century but notes that, with 40% of teachers due to retire within 10 years, the issue of teacher retention must be addressed with some urgency.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 48, Against 63, Abstentions 2).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 93, Against 18, Abstentions 2).

7. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3273—That the Parliament agrees —

(a) that the Standards and Public Appointments Committee reports to the Local Government and Transport Committee by 14 October 2005 on the draft Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Amendment of Specified Authorities) Order 2005; and

(b) that the Standards and Public Appointments Committee reports to the Local Government and Transport Committee by 14 October 2005 on the draft Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Treatment of Office or Body as Specified Authority) Order 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

8. Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3270—That the Parliament agrees that Tricia Marwick be appointed to replace Linda Fabiani on the Communities Committee;

S2M-3271—That the Parliament agrees that Linda Fabiani be appointed to replace Mr John Swinney on the European and External Relations Committee; and

S2M-3272—That the Parliament agrees that Mr John Swinney be appointed to replace Alasdair Morgan on the Finance Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10. Victims’ Rights: The Parliament debated S2M-3171 in the name of Margaret Jamieson—That the Parliament notes recent court decisions which put the human rights of prisoners before those of their victims by ignoring the rights of victims to pursue their assailant for damages when compensation is awarded and believes that the Scottish Executive should pursue all avenues to ensure that no convicted criminal has the opportunity to gain financially from their crimes or imprisonment and that victims should be advised of awards of compensation, inheritance or other financial gain.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
15 September 2005

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 14 September 2005

Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill —The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 38A) (Executive Bill)

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 15 September 2005 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

sportscotland Lottery Fund Annual Report 2003-04 (SE/2005/189)

laid under section 35 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 15 September 2005—

Health Committee, 14th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP 416)

Justice 2 Committee , 12th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 417)

Standards and Public Appointments Committee, 7th Report, 2005 (Session 2):  Complaint against Karen Gillon MSP (SP Paper 418)

Standards and Public Appointments Committee, 8th Report, 2005 (Session 2):  Complaint against David McLetchie MSP (SP Paper 419)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 33rd Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 421)