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To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on establishing an independent review of P1 standardised assessments.

Answered by John Swinney (20/12/2018):

In my statement to Parliament on P1 standardised assessments on 25 October 2018, I announced the establishment of an independent review of these assessments. Following advice from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, I have appointed David Reedy to lead this review.

David Reedy was Co-Director of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust from 2013-17 and has served as both General Secretary and President of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA). He has also previously held the post of Principal Adviser Primary Schools in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Mr Reedy has a wealth of relevant experience and also I believe the necessary distance from the recent debate on P1 assessments in Scotland to bring a fresh and impartial perspective to the review.

Mr Reedy will be supported by a small review team who are familiar with the Scottish context. The team will be assembled by the Chief Inspector and will include Scottish practitioners, representation from the early years sector and a member of the Inspectorate.

The review will consider and provide recommendations on the following issues:

- the compatibility of the assessments with the play-based curriculum model in the early level of Curriculum for Excellence;

- the alignment of the assessments to the benchmarks for the early level;

- the effect on P1 children of taking an on-line assessment;

- the usefulness of the diagnostic information provided to teachers and how it supports their professional judgement;

- the implications of the review for the ongoing implementation of the national Gaelic-medium education standardised assessments; and

- the future of the assessments, considering in particular whether they continue in line with the current continuous improvement model; be substantially modified; or whether they should be stopped.

The detailed remit and terms of reference for the review will be agreed with Mr Reedy and published early in the New Year, along with the details of the review team.

The review will start in January 2019, with a report being submitted to the Scottish Ministers by the end of May 2019. This will allow time for the recommendations of the review to be considered by the Parliament ahead of the Summer recess.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by John Swinney on 20/12/2018

To ask the Scottish Government when its response to the independent strategic review of legal aid in Scotland will be published.

Answered by Ash Denham (29/11/2018):

The report will be published on the Scottish Government website later today .

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Ash Denham on 29/11/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its plans are for taking forward the development of a Hate Crime Bill, and how people can take part in the process.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (14/11/2018):

A consultation document based on Lord Bracadale’s recommendations from his independent review of Hate Crime Legislation will be available to the public via Citizen Space from 14 November until 24 February 2019. In parallel we will be undertaking a series of consultation events across Scotland from December until early February to increase the opportunity for stakeholders and the public to respond to the consultation in part or in whole.

The consultation will also explore the findings of the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law, and the Working Group’s report will also be published on 14 November. The findings from the consultation exercise will inform the content of consolidated and modernised Hate Crime legislation.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Humza Yousaf on 14/11/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an updated action plan on its Freedom of Information practices to the Scottish Information Commissioner, as requested in his letter of 9 October 2018.

Answered by Graeme Dey (14/11/2018):

I am pleased to record that the Commissioner’s letter noted that the 13 September draft plan was thoroughly constructed and that he was content that the majority of the proposed actions will achieve the desired outcomes.

He asked for minor revisions to improve the clarity of three proposals and these were submitted on 30 October. He replied on 8 November, approving the plan, subject to one further minor change, which has been made. The agreed plan has been published on the Scottish Government website at and we will now work with the Commissioner on its implementation.

I am also happy to report that the Commissioner noted the significant improvement the Scottish Government has made to our FOI response times and has formally ended his intervention on that aspect of our performance. He has asked that we continue providing monthly performance reports for the time being and we will, of course, do so.

I remain grateful for the Commissioner’s constructive approach throughout both his interventions.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Graeme Dey on 14/11/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what changes to parliamentary liaison officers have been made following the recent Ministerial reshuffle.

Answered by Graeme Dey (05/09/2018):

Following the recent Ministerial reshuffle there are currently no parliamentary liaison officers. Any PLOs appointments will be notified to Parliament as normal.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Graeme Dey on 05/09/2018
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