George Adam MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
George Adam

Unfortunately I do not have much time. I would love to, but I cannot at this stage.

In giving evidence, Stuart Farmer of the learned societies group said:

“basic knowledge in science subjects is being taught well ... lots of pupils are seeing positive benefits from studying science”.—[Official Report, Education and Culture Committee, 27 January 2015; c 8.]

One of the things that we agreed on is the question about how we get to where we want to be. We need to ensure that young people are aware of the future that they could have. As has been said already, the cabinet secretary has said that there is no such thing as a girl’s job or a boy’s job, and we have to make sure that we move away from those terms when we are talking about STEM subjects because it is important to include everyone from all backgrounds.

We received a briefing for the debate from NUS Scotland, which said that

“We have seen a strong focus, and welcome action, on widening access over the last few years, and the current drive to improve participation and attainment across Scottish education is also welcome. However, we must build on this not only for STEM, but also more generally for post-16 education as a whole.”

Last week’s debate on attainment was the real life-changing debate. The Scottish Government has committed to the Scottish attainment challenge and the attainment fund, and it is going to invest in people from difficult backgrounds to ensure that they get their opportunities. When we are having this debate, we should make sure that we do as NUS Scotland says and talk about the STEM subjects, but we should not forget about everything else that is happening in education. We need to ensure that we encourage everyone to be all that they can and to pursue whatever careers they want in future.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
George Adam (Paisley) (SNP)

I welcome the fact that we all recognise the importance of science education and how it can equip our young people with knowledge and skills to contribute to our society and, as Liz Smith has said, to our economy. However, improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is a key priority of the curriculum for excellence, enabling new and exciting opportunities to make school science education stimulating and exciting for all pupils.

That brings me to a discussion that I had towards the end of last year with the head of the engineering and technology school at the University of the West of Scotland. As many members will know, the UWS campus in Paisley was a technical college, and engineering is the very heart and soul of the university, or it should be. He mentioned during that discussion that the problem that university staff had was encouraging people but that, once they had explained the career path and how young people could move on in life with the potential that a technology degree would give them, it was not so difficult to recruit. They had to find different ways to recruit and interest young people, particularly into engineering and technology.

That is something that also came up during the evidence that we heard recently from the learned societies group. The witnesses mentioned computer science at one point, but the problem is that there are not many young people who want to teach computer science, although they do want to get in a car, bus or train to Dundee to make the next computer game and become involved in that industry. That is part of the issue that we are dealing with: how can we make those same young people want to teach as a future career?

In terms of the evidence that we took from the learned societies group, we had the situation that the report that it did last year involved only 2 per cent of Scottish primary schools and 13 per cent of secondary schools. It is important to bring that up: as the witnesses were from the learned societies group and had a scientific background, they knew that the report was not evidence-based to the extent that they could say confidently that everything in it was right. The Government is therefore quite right to bring up—



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
George Adam

Paisley has dealt with more than 1,400 millilitres of rain in the past few months, which has caused some flooding in the town and has caused much concern among constituents. Are any plans under way to improve drainage systems across the country, and particularly in urban areas such as Paisley?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
2. George Adam (Paisley) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to help prevent flooding in urban areas. (S4O-04032)



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

Robert, I am just trying to get my head around the matter. The first panel of witnesses said that the limited sanctions listed in the bill are, in effect, only to say, “Do not do it again,” or, “Must do better.” They said that if there was an issue, instead we should go into the area and try to work together to ensure that things are working. With the best will in the world, are we not being a bit paranoid about the situation?



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

The British Deaf Association Scotland says that a national performance review would give

“a sense of collective shared mission to achieve the goals of the plans with the community it serves. Authorities would thus become accountable to the BSL community to ensure engagement, involvement, dialogue and continuous improvement.”

Should we not all embrace that and find ways to break down the barriers so that we can all work to deliver it?



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

However, the BSL performance reviews are for the Parliament to hold the Scottish ministers to account and ministers to hold to account listed authorities, which would include local authorities. Basically, the bill would give everyone the opportunity to be open and democratic.

Being a former councillor, I know how community planning partnerships work. The British Deaf Association Scotland is concerned to ensure that performance review is not just a simple box-ticking exercise but that best practice is shared. If we kept everything at a local level, how could we get a national picture of how things are going? We are all accountable for ensuring that the bill makes a difference.



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

I will ask a similar question to the one that I asked the previous panel. The performance review provision is all about sharing best practice and ensuring that we deliver everything that we want to do. In each parliamentary session, the Scottish ministers will have to undertake a performance review of authority plans, which should include an account of measures taken and outcomes attained. Many of the organisations that are involved think that the performance review is a good mechanism for holding public authorities to account, but COSLA felt that it

“confused the accountability relationships that exist within local government”.

Will you explain that, Mr Nicol?



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

Naming and shaming is the only sanction, so that is what would be used eventually if there is continual non-compliance.



Education and Culture Committee 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
George Adam

The only sanction in the bill for an authority that is not performing correctly is naming and shaming. Is that enough or are more sanctions needed to deal with the situation if the national picture shows that some areas are not delivering?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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YesCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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YesCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
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YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
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YesCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
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NoDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
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YesCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
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YesCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
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NoDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
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NoDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by George Adam
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12298: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12297: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11595: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11469: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11092: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10596: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10556: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10543: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10385: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10260: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by George Adam
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-04032: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00943: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04012: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24342: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24206: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03956: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03917: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03902: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02512: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23514: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>

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