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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 4, No. 12 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 17 June 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Schools: Ken Macintosh moved S3M-6580—That the Parliament notes with concern the reduction in the numbers of teachers and classroom assistants since 2007 and the sharp rise in the proportion of newly qualified teachers who cannot obtain permanent or even temporary employment; further notes the widespread disquiet that exists among teachers and parents over the lack of preparedness for implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence and, in particular, the lack of clarity over new qualification arrangements; recognises that the Curriculum for Excellence is a wide-ranging reform with significant resource implications, and calls on the Scottish Government to reach an early agreement with local authorities and teachers organisations that guarantees the necessary preparation time and resources for successful implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell) moved amendment S3M-6580.3 to motion S3M-6580—

Leave out from “or even” to end and insert—

“employment; further notes the unanimous recommendation of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board, including the representatives of the major teaching unions, that implementation in secondary schools should begin in August 2010; notes the announcement of a 10-point plan to support implementation including an additional £3 million, tailored help for secondary schools that need it, increased training for teachers and improved practical materials; recognises that the Curriculum for Excellence embodies the cross-party recommendations of the 2002 report by the Education, Culture and Sport Committee into the purposes of education, and calls on the Scottish Government to listen to teachers’ and parents’ concerns over the new curriculum and reach an early agreement with local authorities and teachers organisations that guarantees the necessary preparation time and resources for successful implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 49, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-6580.1 to motion S3M-6580—

Insert at end—

“, and deplores the threat of industrial action by some teaching unions, which will impact adversely on many of the extra-curricular activities that take place out of school hours and that are such an essential part of the wider educational experience for so many young people.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 107, Abstentions 0).

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-6580.2 to motion S3M-6580—

Insert at end—

“, and notes that the Scottish Government’s package of education failures includes the abandonment of SNP election commitments to reduce class sizes in P1 to P3 to 18, dump student debt and match brick for brick the previous administration's school building programme.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 47, Abstentions 2).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 47, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes with concern the reduction in the numbers of teachers and classroom assistants since 2007 and the sharp rise in the proportion of newly qualified teachers who cannot obtain permanent or even temporary employment; further notes the widespread disquiet that exists among teachers and parents over the lack of preparedness for implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence and, in particular, the lack of clarity over new qualification arrangements; recognises that the Curriculum for Excellence is a wide-ranging reform with significant resource implications; calls on the Scottish Government to reach an early agreement with local authorities and teachers organisations that guarantees the necessary preparation time and resources for successful implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence, and notes that the Scottish Government’s package of education failures includes the abandonment of SNP election commitments to reduce class sizes in P1 to P3 to 18, dump student debt and match brick for brick the previous administration's school building programme.

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

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

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Europe, External Affairs and Culture, and on Education and Lifelong Learning were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

5. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning (Keith Brown) made a statement and answered questions on Supporting Young People in the Context of the Economic Climate.

6. Poverty Framework: The Minister for Housing and Communities (Alex Neil) moved S3M-6581—That the Parliament notes the continuing approach set out in the ScottishGovernment’s poverty and income inequality framework, Achieving our Potential, to take long-term measures to tackle drivers of poverty and income inequality in Scotland, to maximise the potential for people to work, to make work pay for those who can and to support those who cannot work and those who are experiencing poverty now; recognises the need to focus on those people and communities who experience longer-term persistent poverty, and supports the need to streamline the welfare system while ensuring that reforms provide better protection for, and do not further disadvantage, vulnerable people, particularly in these challenging times.

Johann Lamont moved amendment S3M-6581.2 to motion S3M-6581—

Leave out from “to take” to end and insert—

“; further notes the findings of research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust that child, pensioner and overall poverty fell faster in Scotland than in any other part of the United Kingdom during the period of the previous UK administration, led by Labour, but notes concerns raised by anti-poverty organisations, such as Save the Children and the Poverty Alliance, that single outcome agreements do not give sufficient priority to meeting shared poverty targets and have created further problems in terms of monitoring progress and accountability; therefore urges the Scottish Government to review the impact of the concordat and single outcome agreements to ensure a clearer focus on reducing poverty and that measures are put in place to monitor progress made at the national level, and further, in this European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and given the critical role for the Scottish Government in tackling poverty, calls on it to report to the Parliament detailing how it will use all the powers at its disposal to tackle poverty and disadvantage.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 45, Against 76, Abstentions 2).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-6581.1 to motion S3M-6581—

Insert at end

“, and believes that the Scottish Government should introduce a fairer pay policy that gives a real-terms pay increase to those on the lowest wages in the public sector while paying no bonuses to higher earning staff in 2010-11 and 2011-12.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 1, Abstentions 63).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 1, Abstentions 62).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the continuing approach set out in the ScottishGovernment’s poverty and income inequality framework, Achieving our Potential, to take long-term measures to tackle drivers of poverty and income inequality in Scotland, to maximise the potential for people to work, to make work pay for those who can and to support those who cannot work and those who are experiencing poverty now; recognises the need to focus on those people and communities who experience longer-term persistent poverty; supports the need to streamline the welfare system while ensuring that reforms provide better protection for, and do not further disadvantage, vulnerable people, particularly in these challenging times, and believes that the Scottish Government should introduce a fairer pay policy that gives a real-terms pay increase to those on the lowest wages in the public sector while paying no bonuses to higher earning staff in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

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

8. Securing the Future of Glasgow’s Subway: The Parliament debated S3M-6195 in the name of Pauline McNeill—That the Parliament welcomes Strathclyde Partnership for Transport’s decision to go ahead with its modernisation plan; recognises the important role that the subway plays in Glasgow’s transport infrastructure and its significance to Scotland, carrying an estimated 14 million passengers annually; notes that this will be the first major investment project for the service since the 1970s, and hopes that the proposals receive the support that they need to go ahead and that the modernisation keeps Glasgow moving into the future.

9. Motion without Notice: Pauline McNeill moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by up to 10 minutes. The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
17 June 2010

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 17 June 2010 and is subject to annulment—

The Rice Products from the United States of America (Restriction on First Placing on the Market) (Scotland) Revocation Regulations 2010 (SSI2010/248)

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 17 June 2010 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Social Work Inspection Agency Annual Report and Accounts 2009-10 (SG/2010/96)

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