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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 11 September 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Clostridium Difficile Associated Disease in Hospitals: Margaret Curran moved S3M-2524—That the Parliament notes with deep concern the outbreak of Clostridium difficile at the Vale of Leven Hospital; considers the report from the independent review team to be a helpful starting point but believes that there are still serious questions to be addressed; notes the referral of the report by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to consider what action should be taken; recognises and supports the substantial case made by the families of Clostridium difficile victims for a public inquiry; notes that the Scottish Ministers can instruct such an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 and acknowledges the need for wider lessons to be learned throughout the NHS in Scotland in preventing and tackling Clostridium difficile, and therefore calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to return to the Parliament to make a statement when the views of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal are known.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved amendment S3M-2524.1 to motion S3M-2524—

Leave out from "and supports" to end and insert—

"the case made by the families of Clostridium difficile victims for a public inquiry; acknowledges the need for wider lessons to be learned throughout the NHS in Scotland in preventing and tackling Clostridium difficile; notes that Scottish Ministers can instruct a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, and therefore calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to return to the Parliament to make a ministerial statement when the views of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal are known."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 2, Abstentions 63).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved— That the Parliament notes with deep concern the outbreak of Clostridium difficile at the Vale of Leven Hospital; considers the report from the independent review team to be a helpful starting point but believes that there are still serious questions to be addressed; notes the referral of the report by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to consider what action should be taken; recognises and supports the substantial case made by the families of Clostridium difficile victims for a public inquiry; notes that the Scottish Ministers can instruct such an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 and acknowledges the need for wider lessons to be learned throughout the NHS in Scotland in preventing and tackling Clostridium difficile, and therefore calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to return to the Parliament to make a statement when the views of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal are known.

2. SNP Government Failure on Jobs for Newly-Qualified Teachers: Rhona Brankin moved S3M-2525—That the Parliament notes with concern the recent Times Educational Supplement Scotland and General Teaching Council for Scotland surveys showing an increasing number of post-probationary teachers who are unable to secure a permanent teaching post; believes that this development represents an appalling waste of talent and is grossly unfair to those newly-qualified teachers encouraged to train to join the profession; further notes that this comes at a time when many class sizes are rising, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to show leadership and ensure that the Scottish Government, in conjunction with local authorities, takes early and decisive action to address this growing crisis and to make a ministerial statement before the October recess with recommendations for immediate action.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Fiona Hyslop) moved amendment S3M-2525.3 to motion S3M-2525—

Leave out from "with concern" to end and insert—

"that the Scottish Government has set up the Teacher Employment Working Group, due to report in October 2008, which includes members from the General Teaching Council for Scotland, teacher education institutions, COSLA, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, teacher unions, the headteachers’ associations and the Scottish Government, to establish whether the long-standing teacher workforce planning process remains fit for purpose".

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 49, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-2525.1 to motion S3M-2525—

Leave out from "show leadership" to end and insert—

"make a ministerial statement on this subject as soon as practicable following receipt of the report of the Teacher Employment Working Group."

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

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-2525.2 to motion S3M-2525—

After "class sizes are rising," insert—

"highlighting that the SNP’s manifesto commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 in P1 to P3 is in utter chaos, with insufficient funding, a lack of a legal framework and the omission of the policy from 21 out of 32 local authorities’ single outcome agreements,"

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 47, Abstentions 3).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 49, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes with concern the recent Times Educational Supplement Scotland and General Teaching Council for Scotland surveys showing an increasing number of post-probationary teachers who are unable to secure a permanent teaching post; believes that this development represents an appalling waste of talent and is grossly unfair to those newly-qualified teachers encouraged to train to join the profession; further notes that this comes at a time when many class sizes are rising highlighting that the SNP’s manifesto commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 in P1 to P3 is in utter chaos, with insufficient funding, a lack of a legal framework and the omission of the policy from 21 out of 32 local authorities’ single outcome agreements, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to make a ministerial statement on this subject as soon as practicable following receipt of the report of the Teacher Employment Working Group.

3. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

6. Scottish Prisons Commission: The Parliament debated the Scottish Prisons Commission Report.

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

8. Family Law Disputes: The Parliament debated S3M-1839 in the name Nigel Don—That the Parliament recognises that current arrangements for settling family law disputes could be improved and that current law still discriminates against parents who are not married; notes that parents can find it difficult or impossible to enforce contact orders where the other parent is unco-operative and that disputes where broken families live in more than one jurisdiction within the United Kingdom are unnecessarily difficult to resolve; further notes that these issues are particularly relevant due to recent cases in the north east; encourages current moves by Scotland’s legal profession towards collaborative dispute resolution, and notes with interest the new system of less adversarial trials being developed in Australia.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
11 September 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 11 September 2008 and are subject to annulment

The Adoptions with a Foreign Element (Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Abroad) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/303)

laid under section 117 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

The Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Cambodia (Scotland) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/304)

laid under section 117 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

The Special Restrictions on Adoptions from Guatemala (Scotland) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/305)

laid under section 117 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (Restriction on the Authorisation of Council Officers) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/306)

laid under section 78 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 11 September 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland Annual Accounts Year Ended 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/168)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Statement: British Waterways Board: Pay of Chair and Members (SG/2008/169)

aid under paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 to the Transport Act 1962 as amended by Part II of Schedule 2 to the Scotland Act 1998 (Cross Border Public Authorities) (Adaptation of Functions etc) (No 2) Order 2000

Committee Reports

The following reports are being published on 12 September 2008

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 31st Report, 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 145)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 32nd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 146)

For further information on accessing committee reports, please contact either the relevant clerk or webpage (see end of Bulletin for contact details or access general committee webpage)

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/index.htm