Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-31763 by Michael Russell on 8 March 2010, how adherence to the regulations on abatement, to which retired teachers who return to work are subject, is monitored and by whom.
Hugh O'Donnell: Will the First Minister clarify how the protecting vulnerable groups scheme, which is being developed, will dovetail with the various other protection measures that he mentioned?
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is supporting language teaching for primary school teachers.
Hugh O'Donnell: Having listened to the speeches from members of the committee that investigated the matter, I find that their excitement and enthusiasm for the process make me regret that I did not volunteer for the role.
Hugh O'Donnell: I might live to regret that enthusiasm. In all seriousness, we are fortunate that the structure of our commissioners and commissions means that they are accountable to the Parliament and not to the Government, which is just as it should be. Like my Liberal Democrat colleague Ross Finnie, I am pleased that the independence of the roles will be retained, particularly in relation to standards,...
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made in its review of discretionary childcare funding for students at further and higher education institutions.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whom it is consulting in its review of discretionary childcare funding for students at further and higher education institutions.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the results of its review of discretionary childcare funding for students at further and higher education institutions.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will announce any actions that it will take following its review of discretionary childcare funding at further and higher education institutions.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking regarding language skills following the publication of the EU green paper, Promoting the learning mobility of young people .
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is encouraging and promoting a higher uptake of the (a) Comenius and (b) Erasmus programmes.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teachers from Scottish schools took part in the Comenius programme in each of the last four years.
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many students from Scottish institutions took part in the Erasmus programme in each of the last four years.
Hugh O'Donnell: Education debates are so frequent on Thursday mornings that it is beginning to feel a little bit like there is a breakfast club. Notwithstanding that observation, I congratulate Elizabeth Smith on lodging the motion. The debate has been interesting and largely consensual. We have come together in the way that old friends do to chew over the issues relating to the management of our schools....
Hugh O'Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many retired teachers working as supply teachers earned more from a combination of pension and supply teaching payments than from pre-retirement in each of the last five years.
Hugh O'Donnell: Much more capable.
Hugh O'Donnell: It is not often that a back bencher such as me gets an opportunity to trump the cabinet secretary, or Mr Whitton, in reference to St Ninian's high school. I am an ex-pupil. I should add that it was in the days of Dr John Griffin, rather than the current principal. I return to the motion. I acknowledge the legitimate concerns of all parties about the curriculum for excellence, referring in...
Hugh O'Donnell: Not at the moment, thank you. I conclude that Margo MacDonald is making her contribution to the debate in small chunks, rather than in one speech.
Hugh O'Donnell: Our approach to language teaching is focused on attainment. It should be widened out. Important and useful as the statutory provision in our school system is, language teaching needs to be widened out into community learning and into projects where young people who might be disengaged from the formal education system have an opportunity to get involved. There is an example in my region, run...
Hugh O'Donnell: That I know well, having been studying the language for long and weary. We need to widen the basis on which languages are taught. Again, I mention peer education, which the structures that are intended to be used in curriculum for excellence should support. As Margaret Smith and other members have said, we must ensure that teacher training gives teachers the capacity to provide that. It must...