Jenny Marra MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab)

I come to the chamber quite disappointed, because I raised the issue with Mike Russell on at least a couple of occasions, and with Alasdair Allan. The Government has allowed the situation to come about, especially over the past few years, and it has taken no action to do anything about it since members across the chamber raised their concerns.

It is often useful to look at the truth and the stories behind some of the statistics that we are presented with. In the briefing paper that we received today from the national Scottish steering group for educational psychologists, table 4 shows the numbers of applicants, withdrawals and students taking up courses at each of the universities that offer the qualification in educational psychology. When the bursaries changed for the 2012 intake, 13 students withdrew from the course at the University of Dundee.

One of the students who withdrew came to my surgery in Dundee and told me her story. She was a very well-qualified Oxford graduate who was working in schools in Angus. She was a young teacher who had a great rapport with the young people she was teaching in quite a deprived area—so much so that she wanted to train to become an educational psychologist. However, when the Government changed the funding arrangements, she was precluded from doing so. Being a very conscientious young woman, she gave me all the information available to her and told me that it made more sense for her to go back down south to train as an educational psychologist, as she could afford to train there. She would have to relocate with her husband to work in a school down south. When that young woman left my surgery that day, I thought that it was a great shame that the children of Arbroath and the north-east of Scotland would not have her services in the very important area of educational psychology.

During First Minister’s question time today, Liz Smith was right to draw a link between mental health and educational psychology, because we know that access to educational psychology can be a preventative measure and can lead to early intervention in relation to poor mental health.

I think of the waiting lists to see educational psychologists in my home city of Dundee. At my surgery, I have spoken to parents who are anxious and worried that something is not quite right with their children’s behaviour, happiness or general wellbeing and who have been told that they will have to wait for weeks and weeks before their children are able to see an educational psychologist.

Mary Scanlon was right to point out that the Government has a statutory duty—a legal duty—to provide educational psychology services. The Government has been in place for eight years, but it has let the workforce age to the point at which we are about to lose most of our qualified educational psychologists, which is extremely worrying.

I will end on a point about the preventative agenda that I made in the chamber a few weeks ago. Every minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s Cabinet needs to take the Christie commission report off the shelf and dust it down. The recommendations that Campbell Christie spent a long time working on are about the preventative agenda in our public services, and educational psychology is a very good example in that regard. I urge the minister to rethink the options in relation to bursaries and the number of educational psychologists he is planning to train.

12:55  

Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
Jenny Marra

I have heard the reasoning about its being a postgraduate course before, from Michael Russell, and I understand it. However, does Dr Allan accept that there is a strong vocational element to educational psychology? If we are to have the same funding structure for dentists, doctors and nurses, a similar funding structure should be in place for educational psychology. It really does not stack up to compare the course to an MSc in art history or an MSc in science when it is a vocational qualification for teaching in our schools.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
Jenny Marra

Will the minister take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
5. Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government when a community justice centre as recommended by the commission on women offenders will open in Dundee, given that Dundee has the highest percentage of female problem drug use in Scotland. (S4O-03935)



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra

Will the cabinet secretary consider Labour’s call to reconsider the proposal for a super prison in Inverclyde, given that the Angiolini commission recommended that services and rehabilitation should be provided much closer to communities?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab)

Will the cabinet secretary take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra

I was hoping that the cabinet secretary would give way.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra

I just want to follow up on Malcolm Chisholm’s point. I understood that the task force was going to report bimonthly. Can the cabinet secretary clarify that?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra

Will the cabinet secretary give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jenny Marra

I heard the minister’s remarks on television about discharging patients within 72 hours, and we know that the clinical advice is that that is safer. Is the Government’s target 72 hours, or is it two weeks? Can she clarify what her target is?

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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AbstainDefeated

S4M-12182 Nicola Sturgeon: The Chilcot Inquiry—That the Parliament calls for Sir John Chilcot’s offi
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12176 John Swinney: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the gene
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YesCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
AbstainDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Jenny Marra
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12191: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12146: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12120.1: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11847: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11768: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11540: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11332.2: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11163: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10988.1: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10829.3: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jenny Marra
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24235: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24237: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24234: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24238: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03935: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03906: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00884: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03822: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02461: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03749: Jenny Marra, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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