16 January Vol 1, No 46 Session 3

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

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Canon Andrew Mann, St Columba’s Catholic Church, Banchory led Time for Reflection.

2. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead) made a statement and answered questions on Fisheries.

3. OECD Report into Scottish Education: the Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland: The Minister for Schools and Skills (Maureen Watt) moved S3M-1131—That the Parliament welcomes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Reviews of Policies for National Education: Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland and its findings; notes the many positive aspects of our school education system highlighted by the OECD, and agrees that this report is an invaluable international evidence base on which to debate and develop Scotland’s educational policies for the future, recognising the significant challenges identified by the OECD.

Rhona Brankin moved amendment S3M-1131.2 to motion S3M-1131—

Insert at end—

"recognises the challenge in closing the gap in achievement associated with poverty and deprivation and the need for improved vocational education and high quality training; calls on the Scottish Government to take leadership and place an emphasis on literacy and numeracy, devolve power further to head teachers, develop leadership in schools and further develop vocational studies linked to high quality training, and regrets that this government has failed to address these priorities and has failed to deliver on key pledges made in the SNP manifesto."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 47, Abstentions 19).

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-1131.1 to motion S3M-1131—

Insert at end—

"further notes that the report’s key challenge to Scottish schools is to make them work consistently well and equitably and that this outcome is dependent upon greater autonomy within school management, much greater emphasis within the curriculum on basic skills in English and mathematics and greater opportunities for pupils to follow vocational opportunities."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 46, Abstentions 18).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-1131.3 to motion S3M-1131—

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"welcomes the recognition of the success of educational innovations and developments in Scotland since 1999, and believes that the OECD recommendations for further development of the vocational provision of education, for the development of further leadership in school head teams and for a greater emphasis on transition into primary and between primary and secondary education, with greater devolved but more transparent funding to deliver them, should be the priorities of the Scottish Government in improving even further Scotland’s strong internationally renowned education system."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 106, Against 15, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 46, Abstentions 16).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Reviews of Policies for National Education: Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland and its findings; notes the many positive aspects of our school education system highlighted by the OECD; agrees that this report is an invaluable international evidence base on which to debate and develop Scotland’s educational policies for the future, recognising the significant challenges identified by the OECD; recognises the challenge in closing the gap in achievement associated with poverty and deprivation and the need for improved vocational education and high quality training; calls on the Scottish Government to take leadership and place an emphasis on literacy and numeracy, devolve power further to head teachers, develop leadership in schools and further develop vocational studies linked to high quality training, and regrets that this government has failed to address these priorities and has failed to deliver on key pledges made in the SNP manifesto; further notes that the report’s key challenge to Scottish schools is to make them work consistently well and equitably and that this outcome is dependent upon greater autonomy within school management, much greater emphasis within the curriculum on basic skills in English and mathematics and greater opportunities for pupils to follow vocational opportunities; welcomes the recognition of the success of educational innovations and developments in Scotland since 1999, and believes that the OECD recommendations for further development of the vocational provision of education, for the development of further leadership in school head teams and for a greater emphasis on transition into primary and between primary and secondary education, with greater devolved but more transparent funding to deliver them, should be the priorities of the Scottish Government in improving even further Scotland’s strong internationally renowned education system.

4. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1143—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 23 January 2008

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

6.00 pm Decision Time

Thursday 24 January 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Health Improvement

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

followed by Members' Business

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Justice and Law Officers;

Rural Affairs and the Environment

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Waste

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Report

followed by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Motion: Reappointment of the Scottish Information Commissioner

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Wednesday 30 January 2008

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 31 January 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Labour Party Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Finance and Sustainable Growth

2.55 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

The motion was agreed to.

5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 3 as noted above.

6. Young People in the Workplace: The Parliament debated S3M-1074 in the name of Cathy Peattie—That the Parliament notes that young people are making a significant contribution to economic development and social progress in Scotland; notes that younger people often experience poorer job security, pay and conditions of employment and are significantly more likely to be injured in the workplace than older workers; recognises that trade unions play a vital role in protecting and training young people, contributing to a safer working environment in all workplaces and promoting and supporting the learning and skills development of young people; recognises the important role of trade union bargaining on issues such as apprenticeship schemes and workforce training, for example at Ineos in Grangemouth where, as part of the wage deal, apprentices are guaranteed employment on completion of their apprenticeships, and commends all those involved in the Unions into Schools Project, funded by the previous Scottish Executive and now the Scottish Government, which works in schools to ensure an understanding of the contribution made by trade unions.

The meeting closed at 5.37 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
16 January 2008

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