Aileen Campbell MSP

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Aileen Campbell MSP

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  • Member for: Clydesdale
  • Region: South Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Aileen is a member of the following Committees:

Aileen is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Aileen Campbell

Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Minister for Children and Young People (Aileen Campbell)

Like all local authorities, Glasgow City Council has a statutory duty to secure early learning and childcare for eligible children whose parents wish it. When children become eligible, local authorities will do their best to meet the needs of each parent, and they can offer places through their own settings or through private and third sector providers. We would expect local authorities to do their best to meet the needs of parents.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 puts flexibility on a statutory footing for the first time. Local authorities are now required to consult groups of parents at least once every two years on patterns of early learning and childcare provision. That will increase parental choice and better meet the needs of families.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
Aileen Campbell

Yes. Thank you. I will not blame the answer on any baby brain.

Like all local authorities, Glasgow City Council is under a duty to consult parents on the patterns of provision that would best meet their needs. We recognise that the move away from what has been a default model of 2.5 hours a day towards a more flexible model will take time, and additional funding has been provided for that.

It is for private partner nurseries as independent businesses to make charging arrangements. The partnership contract between the council and partners asks that they are transparent and communicate with parents on how the funding will be applied, but the detail is left to the individual partner provider to decide what suits its business model.

I am happy to meet Bill Kidd to discuss specifics, although Fiona McLeod might have to take up the meeting with him.



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
The Minister for Children and Young People (Aileen Campbell)

I welcome the Citizens Advice Scotland report of last week, which raised concerns about the cost of childcare and articulated the challenge that parents face. We know and understand that childcare costs are a considerable outlay for families. That is why, through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, we are investing £329 million in this financial year and next to expand funded early learning and childcare for three and four-year-olds to 600 hours. That represents an increase of 45 per cent since 2007, which will save families up to £700 per child per year.

That said, we have made clear our wish to go further. The First Minister has outlined this Government’s ambition, if re-elected, to deliver an increase in early learning and childcare provision for three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds from 16 hours a week to 30 hours a week by the end of the next session of Parliament.



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Aileen Campbell

On the asymmetric school week, local authority schools have to be open for 190 days each year but it is up to the council to decide on the length and structure of the individual school day, week or year, taking account of local circumstances. Any proposals to change the school week would be subject to consultation involving schools, parents and the wider community.

We absolutely appreciate that the need for childcare does not stop when a child starts school and that finding affordable and flexible provision can be a challenge for parents. That is why the 2014 act has introduced a duty on local authorities to consult locally on out-of-school care, which will broaden the scope for consultation and planning beyond early learning and childcare in order to meet the needs of all families.

Although local authorities are considering ways to reconfigure early learning and childcare services to provide the flexibility that is needed and requested through the legislation—that includes, for instance, bleeding the 600 hours into the summer holidays—the key thing is listening and responding to parents’ needs.

In addition, I have asked the early years task force to consider what more we can do on out-of-school care. Professor Iram Siraj’s continuing workforce review will also consider out-of-school care as well as early learning and childcare. We look forward to receiving her report in the spring of next year.

If the member wishes to raise his concerns directly with me, I am happy to meet him. I am sure that my colleague Alasdair Allan will be happy to meet him on the specific issue of asymmetric school weeks.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
The Minister for Children and Young People (Aileen Campbell)

Good morning, committee. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make an opening statement.

It is significant that you have me and Maureen Watt in front of you today. In fact, you could probably have invited a number of our fellow ministers as well because health inequalities in the early years cross all portfolios, as well as agencies beyond the Government, as Maureen Watt said.

I welcome the opportunity to be here because early years policies and issues surrounding the early years are close to my heart—in more ways than one, given the imminent arrival of my bump at the end of the month. The Government wants to make sure that Scotland is the best place in the world for all children to grow up in and has a number of policies that are aimed at doing that. Maureen Watt has already mentioned some of them, and I add the getting it right for every child approach, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, our play, talk, read campaign, our commitment to high-quality early learning and childcare and our national parenting strategy, which is the only one in the United Kingdom. All those policies have in common the perspective of prevention and early intervention.

I was pleased that the United Kingdom-wide social mobility and child poverty commission’s “State of the Nation 2014” report commended Scotland’s early years task force and the early years collaborative for their continued focus on prevention and early intervention.

10:00  

I know that the committee had an evidence session on the early years collaborative, which is a vehicle and method to deliver our evidence-based policies and has the overall ambition of making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in, by reducing inequalities and giving every child the very best start in life. It empowers practitioners and those who work on the front line to use their expertise to test different approaches for different children and families, initially on a very small scale before scaling them up. Is the venue difficult for some families? Is the form too complicated for someone who cannot read very well? Are we making assumptions about our services meeting people’s needs? Those are the questions that we are encouraging practitioners to ask when they approach their job.

The collaborative is also about co-production: working with parents and children to build on the assets that are available in families and communities. We are proud that the collaborative is world leading. We are the first to use this methodology in a complex, multi-agency environment, and there is a regular flow of requests from around the world to visit or receive further information about what we are doing in Scotland.

Far more important is the fact that we are now beginning to see the small tests of change bearing fruit and delivering for children and families. For example, at one site, the breastfeeding rate among a small group of vulnerable mothers has increased to 86 per cent. According to the Information Services Division, the local average is 25.5 per cent. Work is also going on at some sites to reduce the time that it takes to place a child in a permanent care setting.

At another site, parents are being encouraged to read their children a bedtime story. That scheme started with two parents in one nursery and is now working with 150 parents across six nurseries. Staff continuously evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and have witnessed outcomes that have exceeded their expectations, including increased numbers of parents sharing books at bedtime with their children. In one setting, parents have read 148 books to their children in the past year. The scheme has improved children’s speech and language, which means that they have needed less support in class, and it has established bedtime routines, which has resulted in better behaviour in class. As well as improving concentration and behaviour, it has improved attachment and bonding between parents and their children. Parents have reported improvements in their own reading and confidence, their understanding of child development—and their essential role in that—and their own wellbeing and self-esteem, as they witness their actions making a positive difference for their child and themselves. Other sites are using the model to assess whether they are targeting their resources at the correct place, with some surprising results.

Of course, we still have progress to make and culture can be slow to change, but the enthusiasm and commitment that we see from the 700 practitioners from all across Scotland who attend the learning sessions that are held in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre every few months make us optimistic that progress is on its way and is continually changing our culture.

Thank you for allowing us to make our opening statements, convener. I look forward to answering the committee’s questions.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Aileen Campbell

The appointment sends a clear signal about the desire to align inequality with efforts to improve the economy and keep them closely interlinked. Harry Burns has been instrumental in the development of the early years collaborative. When he was the chief medical officer, he was one of the co-chairs of the early years task force. He has been an early years evangelist for some time, making the case around the country and beyond about the importance of effective intervention in the early years and the policies that we need to adopt to improve brain development.

Harry Burns has continued to be involved in the early years collaborative and has brought about some of the changes that we are seeking to make because of that approach. His appointment to the Council of Economic Advisers is a good move that links social policy and economic policy across the Government much more firmly.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Aileen Campbell

I again mention the early years collaborative, which is strongly focused on data collection to ensure that we have the knowledge and the confidence to scale up interventions. It was not designed to be a short-term pilot. The approach of the early years collaborative does not fit neatly into the electoral cycle of the Scottish Parliament or local authorities; it is about ensuring that we make the right interventions at the right time. It involves taking a longer-term view rather than the short-term pilot approach that you describe.

Pilots are important and have their uses, but the thrust of the early years collaborative is about collecting data and ensuring that it is robust so that we can check that what we do is working. If a pilot does not produce the outcomes that we expect, we need to have the confidence to use it as a learning opportunity and to not continue with that approach. It is a case of bringing about change and doing that using the data that is necessary to ensure that we are making the improvements that we all seek. The early years collaborative approach certainly addresses some of the points that you make.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Aileen Campbell

I agree that the family nurse partnership is impressive. I have been out on some visits, and I believe that the committee has visited some of the health boards that are further down the line with implementing the programme. Some of the indicators for the short term are delays before someone has their next child, and more confidence when they have their next child about the approaches that they want to take to attachment and bonding. In general, there is more confidence from some of the mothers and the fathers. At some of the examples that I went to see in Fife, I was impressed with the fathers who were being more supportive of the family.

The member asked about people dropping out of the programme and not being replaced. Carolyn Wilson might want to comment on that. The approach is strict and the rules have to be adhered to. However, we also have the parenting strategy, which was the first in the UK. Scotland was first to have a national parenting strategy that speaks to all parents beyond those who are eligible to go on to the family nurse partnership scheme. We want to ensure that we help and support parents beyond those groups.

On top of the family nurse partnership approach, we have endorsed a number of interventions through the early years task force, such as triple P—the positive parenting programme—and incredible years. We also support a number of third sector organisations through third sector strategic intervention funding or strategic partnerships. For example, families outside uses effective interventions to support families who are affected by imprisonment to do the best that they can.

We also take a collaborative approach to target families who are in a bit more need by empowering health visitors and midwives so that they know where to direct families to money matters services so that they can increase their household budgets, or when to give support with nurture and attachment issues. Bedtime stories is a perfect example. More children than ever before are now being read bedtime stories as a result of that collaborative approach. On the face of it, that might not have the weightiness of the politics that we are used to but it is crucial to a child’s development and their long-term outcomes so that they can flourish as an individual.

Carolyn Wilson might want to comment on the specifics of family nurse partnerships.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Aileen Campbell

Another useful resource is the “Growing Up in Scotland” study, which is longitudinal and gives us some rich information. We can also point to further resources that provide the type of baseline data in which Dr Simpson is interested.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Aileen Campbell

The role and remit of the poverty adviser are being developed, but it would be right and proper for that person to challenge Government, as that is where such appointments are most useful.

I used to attend the ministerial advisory group on child poverty, which the former Deputy First Minister—now the First Minister—chaired, alongside Margaret Burgess. That forum allowed us to be challenged on the policies that we wanted to progress, and ensured that we could bring to bear expertise from wider civic society beyond Parliament and Government to enable us to tackle inequality, and child poverty in particular.

More directly, as part of my portfolio, we have the early years task force. One of our most recent appointments is Professor Jim McCormick from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, who has just agreed to take a role in the task force. The task force sends a signal across Government portfolios and different disciplines that we want to ensure that there is a common approach that enables us to be challenged robustly.

From my experience on the task force, I know that bringing together people such as Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, John Carnochan and now Jim McCormick means that we are challenged. That ensures that we approach our policies robustly and that they do what we want them to do.

I welcome the proposed appointment of a poverty adviser, and I hope that they will be robust in their challenge to Government, because we cannot afford simply to wear rose-tinted glasses and have nice conversations. There is a real problem affecting families now, and we need to ensure that we are challenged as strongly as possible in order that we are directed to the areas on which we need to focus.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12182.1 Alex Fergusson: The Chilcot Inquiry—As an amendment to motion S4M-12182 in the name of N
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12182 Nicola Sturgeon: The Chilcot Inquiry—That the Parliament calls for Sir John Chilcot’s offi
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-12176 John Swinney: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the gene
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Aileen Campbell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10413: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10404: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10131.3: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09915: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09050: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/02/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08326: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08099: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07783.2: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07083: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06960: Aileen Campbell, Clydesdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Aileen Campbell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S3W-37735: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/11/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-36680: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/10/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-36681: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/10/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-36118: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-36117: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-34966: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/06/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-33118: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/04/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-32257: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/03/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-32256: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/03/2010 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-31807: Aileen Campbell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2010 Show Full Question >>