Results 1–20 of 1507 for speaker:Shirley-Anne Somerville

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (23 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My app has failed. I would have voted yes.

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I am absolutely committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, and to preventing unnecessary industrial action. Strikes in our schools are in no one’s interests, least of all those of pupils, parents and carers, who have already faced significant disruption over the past three years. Members will be aware that only the...

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I was very clear in my original answer that the Scottish Government has a role in the pay negotiations but the offer must come from COSLA as the employers. Four offers have been made so far. Of course we want to do all that we can to ensure that there is a fair and affordable resolution to the current pay dispute. However, I have to be frank with Mr Kerr. The United Kingdom Government made...

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: That is the reality of the situation that we are in. We will absolutely continue to work with COSLA to deliver a fair and affordable settlement for teachers, but the context that we are working in is exceptionally important and, quite frankly, it does a disservice to everybody who is involved in this for Mr Kerr not to take cognisance of that.

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: As I have already said to Stephen Kerr, four offers have been made to the teaching unions by COSLA, during the current dispute, and it is important to recognise what the Scottish Government has done. For example, we have already committed £50 million towards the offer that is currently on the table for teachers. If the current offer had been accepted by teachers—I accept that it was...

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I agree that there is a responsibility on the UK Government. It could have acted in the UK autumn settlement to provide additional funding, but it did not do so. I refer members to a recent letter to the teaching unions in Wales from the Welsh education minister, Jeremy Miles, who said: “it is simply not possible for the Welsh Government to fund such a rise without a substantial increase in...

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Industrial Action) (22 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: As I have said on numerous occasions, four offers have been made, including at the start of the process. As the year has gone on, the Scottish Government has attempted to react to the reality of the situation when it comes to the UK economic context, and to try to assist, as far as possible, with public sector pay. As I have already said, the Scottish Government has already contributed £50...

Scottish Parliament: National Qualifications (Appeals) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: Outcomes for priority appeals, where outcomes were needed for progression to further education, higher education, employment or training this year, were issued to centres by the Scottish Qualifications Authority on 5 September. Outcomes for the remaining 2022 appeals process were issued on 31 October, with some appeals having been expedited to 15 October for learners who were accessing the...

Scottish Parliament: National Qualifications (Appeals) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: The SQA still has a number of decisions to make, particularly about the appeals process. It is currently undertaking consultation, research and evidence work to explore the implications of the appeals process last year and how appeals have worked in previous years. The SQA’s work in that area is on-going. The SQA will keep in close contact with the national qualifications 2023 group, which...

Scottish Parliament: English as an Additional Language (Support) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: The responsibility for the provision of support for children and young people who have English as an additional language rests with education authorities. Under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009, education authorities are legally required to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils. That includes pupils who have English as...

Scottish Parliament: English as an Additional Language (Support) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I appreciate where Miles Briggs is coming from with his question about ensuring that we are providing support for pupils for whom English is an additional language. As I said in my original answer, many of the responsibilities to identify need and ensure that the correct support is available lie with local authorities. The Scottish Government and, indeed, Education Scotland work very closely...

Scottish Parliament: English as an Additional Language (Support) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: The Government continues to invest in teachers and in the teaching estate. Teacher numbers are at their highest since 2008, and the most recent figures available show that more than 16,000 pupil support assistants are providing invaluable support to pupils, including those with English as an additional language.

Scottish Parliament: Probationary Primary Teachers (Full-time Employment) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: For primary teachers in the 2020-21 cohort of teacher induction scheme probationers, 70 per cent had secured full-time employment in a publicly funded school in Scotland by the time of the September 2021 census. Statistics on the employment of the 2021-22 cohort of teacher induction scheme probationers will be published on 13 December.

Scottish Parliament: Probationary Primary Teachers (Full-time Employment) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: The recruitment and retention of teachers is a matter for the local authority as the employer. However, at a national level, we clearly have a role in supporting our local authorities. That is exactly why I took the step of ensuring that we provided additional permanent funding of £145.5 million per year to support the recruitment of extra teachers. In the past, local authorities told me...

Scottish Parliament: Probationary Primary Teachers (Full-time Employment) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I continue to be in close contact with unions and teachers directly, whom I have heard from, once again, quite recently, about some of the challenges that they face with regard to permanent contracts. We are looking at the numbers that are required for initial teacher education. At this point, those deliberations are still on-going, but that feeds into our wider workforce plans, through which...

Scottish Parliament: Probationary Primary Teachers (Full-time Employment) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: Clearly, as I have already stated in my previous answers, we have done a lot, particularly this year. The change that we have made amounts to £145.5 million. Again, I stress to all members that they are perfectly entitled to challenge the Scottish Government on that, but none of the questions today have recognised the role of councils in looking at the permanency of the issue and the fact...

Scottish Parliament: Probationary Primary Teachers (Full-time Employment) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: The ratio of pupils to teachers is at its lowest since 2009, with more teachers than at any time since 2008. We have the most teachers per pupil of any UK nation. The most recent comparable statistics are for 2021, and they show a pupil teacher ratio of 13.3 for Scotland, 18 for England, 19.2 for Wales and 18 for Northern Ireland.

Scottish Parliament: Disabled People Leaving School (Positive Destinations) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: Since November 2020, we have invested funding of up to £175 million through the young persons guarantee to create additional opportunities, with a focus on those furthest from a positive destination. That includes up to £90 million for local authorities through local employability partnerships, which are focused on early intervention and prevention by providing supported employment...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled People Leaving School (Positive Destinations) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: I recognise the work that has been undertaken by Pam Duncan-Glancy on the bill on this issue, and I recognise that it is an on-going process. We absolutely support the bill’s intention to improve the transition for disabled children and young people. We are at a point where we need to collectively consider where matters stand, given the consultation and work that are on-going. However, I...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled People Leaving School (Positive Destinations) (17 Nov 2022)

Shirley-Anne Somerville: Skills Development Scotland has operational responsibility for our modern apprenticeship programme, and it publishes quarterly official modern apprenticeship statistics, including the number of starts, with a full-year report being available at the end of each financial year. The most recent statistics were published on 8 November. There were 12,593 modern apprenticeship starts by the end of...


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