Skip to main content

Language: English / Gàidhlig


Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Education and Skills Committee 25 April 2018

Agenda: Decision on Taking Business in Private, Attainment and Achievement of School-aged Children Experiencing Poverty


Decision on Taking Business in Private

The Convener (James Dornan)

Good morning. I welcome everyone to the 12th meeting in 2018 of the Education and Skills Committee. I remind everyone present to please turn their mobile phones and other devices on to silent for the duration of the meeting.

The first item of business is a decision on whether to take agenda item 4 in private. Is everyone content to do that?

Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire) (Con)

No, I am not entirely content to take agenda item 4 in private. Given the seriousness of one of the matters that will be discussed, I would have thought that it merited its own agenda item. On the basis of the facts that we already know, if the committee does not reach a consensus today, I request that, in the interests of full transparency, we return to the discussion in public session at our next meeting, so that all members can formally put their views on the record.

The Convener

Mr Mundell, you have already put your views on the public record. I think that agenda item 4 should be taken in private, as is the normal practice. Does anyone else have an issue with that?

Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

If we do not get satisfaction in private session, the issue needs to be discussed—

The Convener

If we will be dealing with something in private session, the discussions should take place in private session and decisions should be made at that point.

Johann Lamont (Glasgow) (Lab)

I would like to clarify that we are not deciding not to discuss the issue in public at some point in the future.

The Convener

I clarify that we are asking whether an issue that is to be discussed in private session can be heard in private session. We will not debate the matter in public until we have decided whether to debate it in private. Do we agree or do we not agree to take the agenda item in private? The discussions in private should take place in private.

Johann Lamont

With respect, convener, I am asking a process question—

The Convener

The process will be the same process by which any other item has ever been taken in private.

Johann Lamont

In agreeing to take the item in private, will members still be afforded the opportunity to have a discussion about the issue in public at a later stage?

The Convener

Have we ever done otherwise?

Johann Lamont

That is confirmation that we will be able to have that opportunity. That is fine.

The Convener

I do not really understand the point of the question, except to try to get it on the record.

In that case, is everyone content to take agenda item 4 in private?

Members indicated agreement.