Nicola Sturgeon MSP

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Nicola Sturgeon MSP

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  • Member for: Glasgow Southside
  • Region: Glasgow
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Nicola is a member of the following Committees:

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

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by The First Minister

Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

Engagements to take forward the Government’s programme for Scotland and—fingers crossed—celebrating an Andy Murray victory in the tennis.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

Nothing has gone wrong. What has happened is that teachers have been given the flexibility in the timetable for the delivery of curriculum for excellence that I think Kezia Dugdale once asked for. Curriculum for excellence is founded on professional judgment, and it is right that decisions take account of local circumstances. Schools are able to use that flexibility to phase in the new qualifications in the way that best serves the interests of pupils, and when it was given it was warmly welcomed by teacher unions and indeed by Opposition politicians. This is the only year in which dual running of the exams will be permitted but, given the importance of ensuring proper implementation, I had thought that Kezia Dugdale and her colleagues would have welcomed that.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

Consistency clearly is not Labour’s strong suit this week. On the issue of dual running of exams—[Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

Labour has raised an important question for pupils and parents across the country, so let me answer it, but I think that it is worth pointing out that not that long ago—12 September 2014, to be precise—Kezia Dugdale said that the timescale for implementation of the new exams was too fast. She said that the timetable was “ridiculous”. She then cited the introduction of standard grades and said that that had been over 10 years, presumably implying that she thought that that was a more appropriate timescale for the implementation of these new exams. Now that we are seeing teachers and schools using the flexibility that they have rightly been given, Kezia Dugdale turns round and says that the implementation timetable is too slow. That almost puts the hypocrisy on fracking into the shade.

If Kezia Dugdale wants to quote teachers, let me quote Larry Flanagan, the general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland. He said:

“This is a sensible approach that will enable teachers to use their best judgement in deciding which option is in the best interests of their pupils.”

If that is what teachers have to say, I do not know why Kezia Dugdale takes a different view.

We have put in place an appeals system that is right and proportionate to give young people the best opportunity to fulfil their potential at school. As I have said previously on this issue and on a range of other subjects, if Kezia Dugdale wants to suggest improvements, I will be willing to listen. However, not for the first time, I will be waiting a long, long time for Labour to come up with anything constructive.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

I am surprised that Kezia Dugdale does not want to focus on what I thought would be the real success story—



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

I am talking about the success not of Government but of pupils across the country. In 2014, there was a record number of higher passes in Scotland—almost 4,000 more than in 2013.

We are, rightly and properly, introducing curriculum for excellence, a new system of exams and—yes—changes to the way in which appeals are applied for and processed. We will ensure that we respond to the experience of all that, so that we continue to do what we have been doing in each and every year in which we have been in government, which is taking the action that needs to be taken to ensure that our young people get the best possible education and the best possible chance to pass the exams that give them the best possible chance in life. There was a day when Labour would have supported that but, as on so many other issues, Labour has moved beyond and away from its very basic principles.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

In fact, in spite of what Kezia Dugdale just said, 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas are more likely to be accepted to university under the SNP. Universities and Colleges Admissions Service stats show that the percentage of 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas accepted to university is up from 6.4 per cent under Labour to 8.9 per cent in 2013—an increase of 2.5 percentage points—[Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

Let me say very clearly to the Parliament and to the entire country that I do not think that that is good enough. I want more young people from our most disadvantaged backgrounds to get the same kind of opportunities to go to university as I got as a young person.

That is why in my programme for government I set the goal of increasing the number of people from our most deprived areas who get to go to university. That is why we are working to ensure, first, the best possible school education for our young people—I repeat that we are seeing a record number of higher passes. It is also why my party, unlike the Labour Party, has worked so hard and will continue to work so hard to protect free higher education for our young people. If Labour had its way and introduced tuition fees, it would be a lot harder for our poorest young people to get the chance that I had to go to university.



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

I hope that Ruth Davidson was not looking at Twitter in the chamber, Presiding Officer. [Laughter.]



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 12:33 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
The First Minister

I think that Jackson Carlaw might be in some trouble.

I take the opportunity to congratulate Andy Murray on his semi-final win. I am sure that we can have an outbreak of consensus in the chamber and, on behalf of us all, I wish him all the best for the final on Sunday.

I will meet the Secretary of State for Scotland on Monday, at the oil and gas summit in Aberdeen, when I will take the opportunity to call again on the United Kingdom Government to take immediate action to cut the supplementary charge for the oil and gas sector, instead of waiting seven long weeks until the UK budget is announced.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Nicola Sturgeon
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12182: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11926: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11673: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11672: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11380: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 31/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11301: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11116.1: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10777: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10739: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10353.3: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S2F-02139: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2006 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18574: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18575: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18531: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18537: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18534: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18532: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18535: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18536: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18533: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>

Further information

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