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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 38 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 3 December 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.00 am.

1. Appointment of Minister: The First Minister (Alex Salmond) moved S3M-5313—That the Parliament agrees that Michael Russell be appointed as a Minister.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 58, Against 0, Abstentions 52).

2. Education: Margaret Smith moved S3M-5334—That the Parliament regrets that for the last two years the SNP government has presided over a series of failures on a range of education indicators, including teacher numbers and class sizes; believes that there are fundamental challenges that must be addressed in order to tackle the growing crisis in Scottish education, and therefore calls on the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to take immediate action to rebuild the bond of trust between central and local government and establish a constructive working relationship with local authorities so that schools can deliver the best possible outcomes for Scottish education and young people, to bring fresh impetus to the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence and the new national qualifications, providing teachers with the clarity, training and resources that they urgently require to implement the changes, and to focus on the key issue of teacher numbers, giving new teachers the career opportunities that they deserve and delivering effective workforce planning for the future.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell) moved amendment S3M-5334.2 to motion S3M-5334—

Leave out from “regrets” to end and insert—

“recognises the progress of Scottish education under successive devolved administrations; further recognises the need to ensure effective delivery in every education sector in order to continue such progress; believes that the full and active participation of all stakeholders, particularly teachers, parents and pupils, and, of course, local authorities, is essential to achieving the best outcome including smaller class sizes, and agrees to continue to take such issues forward in pursuit of national educational excellence.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 72, Abstentions 2).

Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-5334.1 to motion S3M-5334—

Insert at end—

“, and calls on the Scottish Government to introduce a properly planned and resourced scheme for early retirement and more flexible winding down arrangements for older teachers, linked to guarantees that teachers released from the classroom will be replaced by post-probationary teachers.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 47, Abstentions 15).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S3M-5334.3 to motion S3M-5334—

Leave out from “regrets” and insert—

“welcomes the appointment of Michael Russell to the post of Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning; believes, like the Cabinet Secretary, that ‘choice and diversity are the hallmarks of a mature and confident society’ in the provision of state-funded education and that Scotland can learn from successful models in other European countries such as Sweden; trusts that such creative thinking will not be stifled by the Cabinet Secretary’s promotion to higher Ministerial Office, and calls upon him to implement the terms of motion S3M-3164 as passed unanimously by the Parliament on 7 January 2009 affirming the need to ensure that pupils in Scotland are properly schooled and tested in the basic skills of literacy and numeracy by the end of primary 7.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 106, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 50, Abstentions 14).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament regrets that for the last two years the SNP government has presided over a series of failures on a range of education indicators, including teacher numbers and class sizes; believes that there are fundamental challenges that must be addressed in order to tackle the growing crisis in Scottish education; therefore calls on the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to take immediate action to rebuild the bond of trust between central and local government and establish a constructive working relationship with local authorities so that schools can deliver the best possible outcomes for Scottish education and young people, to bring fresh impetus to the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence and the new national qualifications, providing teachers with the clarity, training and resources that they urgently require to implement the changes, and to focus on the key issue of teacher numbers, giving new teachers the career opportunities that they deserve and delivering effective workforce planning for the future, and calls on the Scottish Government to introduce a properly planned and resourced scheme for early retirement and more flexible winding down arrangements for older teachers, linked to guarantees that teachers released from the classroom will be replaced by post-probationary teachers.

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 Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

6. Getting it Right for Every Child: The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) moved S3M-5335—That the Parliament supports the Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) approach; commends Highland and the other pathfinder programmes for their work in developing the approach; notes progress under the eCare framework to enable secure, targeted information sharing across Scotland; welcomes the report by the University of Edinburgh on progress to date, particularly with regard to the pathfinder programme in Highland; welcomes Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education’s summary report on its first round of multi-agency children’s services inspections as providing a clear and comprehensive picture of how children’s services are operating across Scotland, and encourages work to further develop and implement the GIRFEC approach as a means of public services and the third sector working with parents and communities to improve outcomes for children and deliver the Early Years Framework, Achieving our Potential, and Equally Well.

Karen Whitefield moved amendment S3M-5335.1 to motion S3M-5335—

Insert at end—

“; recognises the scale of the challenge described in the HMIe report, How well do we protect Scotland’s children?, which states that almost half of the 30 councils inspected were assessed as weak or unsatisfactory in relation to the assessment of risks and needs; further acknowledges that the report highlights the need for improved information sharing in relation to child protection, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that sufficient resources are available for the effective delivery of the Early Years Framework, Achieving our Potential and Equally Well.”

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

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

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) approach; commends Highland and the other pathfinder programmes for their work in developing the approach; notes progress under the eCare framework to enable secure, targeted information sharing across Scotland; welcomes the report by the University of Edinburgh on progress to date, particularly with regard to the pathfinder programme in Highland; welcomes Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education’s summary report on its first round of multi-agency children’s services inspections as providing a clear and comprehensive picture of how children’s services are operating across Scotland; encourages work to further develop and implement the GIRFEC approach as a means of public services and the third sector working with parents and communities to improve outcomes for children and deliver the Early Years Framework, Achieving our Potential, and Equally Well; recognises the scale of the challenge described in the HMIe report, How well do we protect Scotland’s children?, which states that almost half of the 30 councils inspected were assessed as weak or unsatisfactory in relation to the assessment of risks and needs; further acknowledges that the report highlights the need for improved information sharing in relation to child protection, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that sufficient resources are available for the effective delivery of the Early Years Framework, Achieving our Potential and Equally Well.

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

8. Barred Campaign Goes Nationwide: The Parliament debated S3M-4618 in the name of George Foulkes—That the Parliament congratulates the Barred campaign, led by Mark Cooper, which seeks to improve the accessibility of licensed premises for disabled people across Edinburgh and now Scotland; recognises that the campaign has been adopted by Capability Scotland; looks forward to the campaign’s development and future successes, and believes that no one should be barred from accessing a pub or club or receive a poorer standard of service because of a perceived disability.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
3 December 2009

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 26 November 2009 for approval by resolution—

The Census (Scotland) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)

laid under paragraph 6 of the schedule to the Census Act 1920

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 1 December 2009 for approval by resolution

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Modification of Enactments) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)

laid under section 117(5) of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 26 November 2009 and are subject to annulment—

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Variation of Schedule 4) (Scotland) Order 2009 (SSI 2009/418) and—

The Wildlife and Countryside (Registration and Ringing of Certain Captive Birds) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/419)

laid under section 26(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

The Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/426)

laid under section 48(2) and (3) of the Food Safety Act 1990

The Food for Particular Nutritional Uses (Addition of Substances for Specific Nutritional Purposes) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/427)

laid under section 48(3) of the Food Safety Act 1990

The Public Contracts and Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/428)

laid under paragraph 2(2) of schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Modification of Subordinate Legislation) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/429)

laid under section 117 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act2007

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 26 November 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Law Commission Report on Unincorporated Associations (SG/2009/242)

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

Scottish Court Service Annual Report and Accounts 2008/2009 (SG/2009/256)

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 1 December 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure

The Care Commission Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09 (SG/2009/164)

laid under Schedule 1, section 10(1) of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

Statistical Bulletin: Prison Statistics Scotland 2008-09 (SG/2009/260)

laid under section 5(1) of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989

Legislative Consent Memorandums

The following memorandum was lodged on 26 November 2009

Richard Lochhead MSP: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the UK Flood and Water Management Bill (UK Parliament legislation) (LCM(S3)24.1)

The following memorandums were lodged on 3 December 2009—

John Swinney MSP: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Financial Services Bill (UK Parliament legislation) (LCM(S3) 25.1)

Kenny MacAskill, Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Bribery Bill (UK Parliament legislation) (LCM(S3)26.1)

Kenny MacAskill, Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Crime and Security Bill (UK Parliament legislation) (LCM(S3)27.1)

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 30 November 2009

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 13th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (SP Paper 346)

The following report was published on 3 December 2009—

Scottish Parliament Statistics 2004-2005 (SP Paper 348)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 49th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SPPaper 350)