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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid)

Meeting date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Agenda: Business Motion, Portfolio Question Time, Point of Order, Portfolio Question Time, Justice for Families (Milly’s Law), Care Home Visiting Rights (Anne’s Law), Urgent Question, Point of Order, Education Reform, Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill, Scottish Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (Trustees), Scottish Human Rights Commission (Appointment), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Elsie Inglis


Contents


Business Motion

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Annabelle Ewing)

Good afternoon. I remind members of the Covid-related measures that are in place. Face coverings should be worn when moving around the chamber and across the Holyrood campus.

The first item of business is consideration of business motion S6M-03554, in the name of George Adam, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, on changes to this week’s business. Any member who wishes to speak against the motion should press their request-to-speak button now.

I understand that a member wishes to press his request-to-speak button and, therefore, to speak, but there might be a problem with his card.

I call Oliver Mundell.

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I rise to highlight—

The Deputy Presiding Officer

I am sorry, Mr Mundell. I beg your pardon, but please sit down; I have been put off my stride a wee smidgen. First of all, I call the minister to move the motion.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees to the following revision to the programme of business for—

(a) Wednesday 9 March 2022—

after

followed by Scottish Labour Party Debate: Anne’s Law—Protecting the Right of Care Home Visiting

insert

followed by Ministerial Statement: Scottish Government Response to Report by Independent Advisor on Education Reform

delete

6.00 pm Decision Time

insert

6.30 pm Decision Time

(b) Thursday 10 March 2022

delete

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions

insert

2.15 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.15 pm Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions

delete

followed by Ministerial Statement: Scottish Government Response to Report by Independent Advisor on Education Reform

delete

5.15 pm Decision Time

and insert

5.00 pm Decision Time—[George Adam]

Thank you, minister. I call Oliver Mundell.

14:01  

Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire) (Con)

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I rise to highlight to Parliament, education stakeholders and the wider public my concerns about the way in which today’s business has unfolded at short notice and without adequate explanation. Are we now really accepting that this Scottish National Party Government is so incompetent that it cannot even organise the publication of its own so-called “landmark education report”?

The issue might seem to be small fry, but it speaks to the lack of ministerial oversight and to the incompetence that defines this SNP Government’s time in charge of our education system. Why should parents, teachers and young people trust it to turn things around and restore standards when it cannot even get the basics right? This follows the shambles at the Scottish Qualifications Authority in recent days, which has seen pupils being screwed over for the third year in a row.

I note, with gratitude, the selection of an urgent question this afternoon, but many people outside the chamber will wonder why time for an extra half-hour statement opens up when it suits the Scottish Government. I accept that the timing of today’s statement is unlikely to change, but it is important to put on the record that this chaotic approach does nothing to build consensus and trust in Scottish education. Instead of a tired Government putting the same tired arguments, we need a new approach to ask the difficult questions. We are not going to get that in a half-hour slot at the end of the day, inserted at short notice.

We are seeing again an SNP Government that claims that education is its top priority, while at the same time it is selling our young people short. Where is the leadership? Where is the so-called priority?

I would be grateful if the Minister for Parliamentary Business could explain why we find ourselves in this absurd position and why there has been such urgency in bringing the matter forward for debate, when today’s business has long been scheduled.

14:03  

The Minister for Parliamentary Business (George Adam)

I cannot be held accountable for Oliver Mundell’s paranoia, but the matter has been discussed in detail at the Parliamentary Bureau. The matter has been discussed with all the business managers, and has been agreed. We will bring the statement forward today.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

The question is, that motion S6M-03554 be agreed to.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees to the following revision to the programme of business for—

(a) Wednesday 9 March 2022—

after

followed by Scottish Labour Party Debate: Anne’s Law—Protecting the Right of Care Home Visiting

insert

followed by Ministerial Statement: Scottish Government Response to Report by Independent Advisor on Education Reform

delete

6.00 pm Decision Time

insert

6.30 pm Decision Time

(b) Thursday 10 March 2022

delete

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions

insert

2.15 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.15 pm Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions

delete

followed by Ministerial Statement: Scottish Government Response to Report by Independent Advisor on Education Reform

delete

5.15 pm Decision Time

and insert

5.00 pm Decision Time