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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 30 January 2008

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

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: The Right Reverend Sheilagh Kesting, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland led Time for Reflection.

2. Ministerial Statement: The First Minister (Alex Salmond) made a statement and answered questions on delivering more effective government.

3. Importance of Scottish History in the School Curriculum: The Minister for Schools and Skills (Maureen Watt) moved S3M-1238—That the Parliament recognises the importance of ensuring that young people understand Scotland’s and their place in the world, both currently and in a historical context, and in pursuit of this aim welcomes the opportunities for more exciting, engaging and relevant teaching presented by the Curriculum for Excellence and, in particular, the publication of the draft social studies outcomes and experiences by Learning and Teaching Scotland, along with the recent decision by the Scottish Qualifications Authority to include questions on Scottish history as a compulsory component of the Higher History examination.

Ken Macintosh moved amendment S3M-1238.2 to motion S3M-1238—

insert at end—

"further recognises that without basic literacy and numeracy skills young people have difficulty accessing the curriculum, including history, and calls on the Scottish Government to provide leadership to tackle literacy and numeracy in Scottish schools which will facilitate an improved understanding of history."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 104, Against 0, Abstentions 15).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S3M-1238.1 to motion S3M-1238—

insert at end—

"however, emphasises that it is important that Scottish history is taught in a balanced manner, which encourages young people to evaluate the evidence critically and come to their own conclusions, and that it is taught in its rightful context, namely alongside local, British, European and world history, and further emphasises that courses must be of a high quality with teachers being supported by new teaching resources and continuing professional development training as necessary."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

Hugh O’Donnell moved amendment S3M-1238.3 to motion S3M-1238—

insert at end—

"and believes that history should be taught without political interference."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the importance of ensuring that young people understand Scotland’s and their place in the world, both currently and in a historical context, and in pursuit of this aim welcomes the opportunities for more exciting, engaging and relevant teaching presented by the Curriculum for Excellence and, in particular, the publication of the draft social studies outcomes and experiences by Learning and Teaching Scotland, along with the recent decision by the Scottish Qualifications Authority to include questions on Scottish history as a compulsory component of the Higher History examination; further recognises that without basic literacy and numeracy skills young people have difficulty accessing the curriculum, including history; calls on the Scottish Government to provide leadership to tackle literacy and numeracy in Scottish schools which will facilitate an improved understanding of history; however, emphasises that it is important that Scottish history is taught in a balanced manner, which encourages young people to evaluate the evidence critically and come to their own conclusions, and that it is taught in its rightful context, namely alongside local, British, European and world history, and further emphasises that courses must be of a high quality with teachers being supported by new teaching resources and continuing professional development training as necessary, and believes that history should be taught without political interference.

4. Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - UK Legislation: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved S3M-1201—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, reintroduced in the House of Commons on 7 November 2007, relating to investigation of bribery and corruption by foreign officers, violent offender orders and repatriation of prisoners, so far as these matters fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1259—That the Parliament agrees that, for the purpose of allowing up to 2 hours 5 minutes to debate motion S3M-1256 (Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008) on Thursday 7 February 2008, the final sentence of Rule 10.7.1 of Standing Orders be suspended.

The motion was agreed to.

6. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1252—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 6 February 2008

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate: Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by Legislative Consent Motion: Education and Skills Bill – UK Legislation

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 7 February 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: Support for Survivors of Historic In-care and Institutional Abuse

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Commercial Forestry

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Europe, External Affairs and Culture;
Education and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Wednesday 20 February 2008

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 21 February 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Health and Wellbeing

2.55 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

7. Referral of SSI: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1254—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008 be considered by the Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSI: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1253—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Members’ Remuneration and Supplementary Provisions) Order 2008 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 4, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10. Maximising Migrants’ Opportunities: The Parliament debated S3M-1145 in the name of Margo MacDonald—That the Parliament welcomes the contribution made by migrants from eastern Europe to the economy of the Lothians and Scotland; recognises that many are in employment that does not utilise their skills and qualifications; notes the current shortage of skills in the Scottish workforce and suggests that the Scottish Government undertakes a pilot scheme to better match the education and work experience of migrants with the skills shortages in Scotland, and further suggests that a welcome centre in Edinburgh airport could identify migrants’ qualifications and facility with the English language and provide advice on employment, training courses and other services.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
30 January 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 28 January 2008 for approval by resolution

The Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008

laid under section 32(9) of the Electricity Act 1989

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 30 January 2008 for approval by resolution

The Home Detention Curfew Licence (Amendment of Specified Days) (Scotland) Order 2008

laid under section 45(3) of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 30 January 2008 and is subject to annulment

The Police Grant (Variation) (Scotland) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/20)

laid under section 48(2) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 28 January 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Statute Law Repeals: Eighteenth Report Draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill (SG/2008/4)

laid under section 3(2) of the Law Commission Act 1965

Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2006 (SG/2008/9)

laid under section 58(6) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2006 (SG/2008/10)

laid under section 60(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 30 January 2008 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

sportscotland Lottery Fund Annual Review 2006-07 (SG/2008/8)

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

The Police Grant (Variation) (Scotland) Order 2008 Report (SG/2008/14)

laid under section 32(6) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 29 January 2008 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Waterwatch Scotland Annual Report 2006-07 (SG/2008/7)

laid under section 6B of the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 25 January 2008—

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 1st Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Education and Skills Bill - LCM (S3) 6.1 (SP Paper 51)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 3rd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 52)