Carol Monaghan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment he has made of the effect on democratic participation of the extension of the franchise in the Scottish independence referendum to 16 and 17 year olds.
Carol Monaghan: I welcome the Minister to his place, and I welcome the UK Government’s decision to follow the Scottish Government’s lead in expanding free childcare to 30 hours for three and four-year-olds. How much additional funding will be made available for the planned childcare expansion?
Carol Monaghan: I thank the Minister for that answer. Will he give the figure for how much additional funding will come to Scotland as a result of the Barnett consequentials from the planned expansion of childcare in England?
Carol Monaghan: I am delighted to have the support of so many of my colleagues here today as I make this, my first speech to the House. I am honoured to be here representing Glasgow North West, the area where I grew up and where I have chosen to raise my own children. Glasgow North West does not have the lochs and islands of Argyll and Bute, or the mountains of Skye and Lochaber, but what it does have is...
Carol Monaghan: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I will talk a bit about my experience of pupils with EAL needs in my previous job as a teacher. Scotland has a long and rich history of multilingualism. Throughout the ages, we have had various languages running through our culture—Scots, Gaelic, Irish and English.
Carol Monaghan: I thank the hon. Gentleman; I will add Welsh to that list. Over the past 20 years, we have seen an influx of people with different languages and cultures. EAL pupils have had a huge, positive impact on our schools in Glasgow. I taught in an inner-city comprehensive in Glasgow where asylum seekers and refugees were housed in the late ’90s. We had a huge number of EAL pupils, and attainment...
Carol Monaghan: In areas such as the Western Isles, Gaelic is still the native tongue for many people—the figure is far more than 5%, so my hon. Friend the Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr MacNeil) would probably disagree with the hon. Gentleman. On the number of pupils coming in with English as an additional language, I am not sure that any area in Scotland has a figure of 70%, but we do have figures...
Carol Monaghan: Taking languages at GCSE is a matter for pupils at that point in their school careers. The baccalaureate system is really robust, with pupils looking at different areas and having specialisms in different subjects, and that is really positive. However, the issue is more about language learning in the early years. There will be huge benefits if we can deal with that, whatever the additional...
Carol Monaghan: Actually, I was there. It was my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Alan Brown) who was not. I enjoyed the hon. Gentleman’s winding-up speech.
Carol Monaghan: The hon. Gentleman says that the presence of a high proportion of EAL pupils does not have a negative impact on other pupils, but my experience is that it has an extremely positive impact on other pupils. In fact, the presence of such pupils in their class gives other students something to aim for because they can see a different way of working, which is a huge advantage.
Carol Monaghan: In Scotland, we do not have academies, although some schools might have the word “academy” in their title; we have comprehensive schools and private schools. Does the Minister agree that a school’s success is not down to its name but is the result of leadership within the school and the systems put in place to ensure that staff and pupils are supported fully?
Carol Monaghan: The Minister mentioned some staff members: a head teacher and some inspiring teachers. Is the Minister suggesting that if the school had not been an academy, it would not have had the same success, given the staff that it has in position?
Carol Monaghan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many full-time equivalent staff at each civil service grade are employed in the private office of each Minister in her Department.
Carol Monaghan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what forecast her Department has made of its spending in Malawi in the next five years.
Carol Monaghan: In proceeding with their plans to expand the provision of free childcare in Scotland, the Scottish Government have stressed the importance of high-quality early learning to giving our children the very best start in life. Does the Minister agree that access to free childcare is vital to tackling social and educational inequalities early in life, and will he explain how the United Kingdom...
Carol Monaghan: The Scottish Government have announced plans to extend free childcare to 30 hours a week for all three and four-year-olds. As the Minister will know, that is more ambitious than his plans to extend provision only to families in which both parents work. Does he not recognise that by restricting free childcare in that way, the UK Government are missing an opportunity to tackle inequalities by...
Carol Monaghan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy not to require those undergoing radiotherapy to undertake fit-for-work assessments.
Carol Monaghan: rose—
Carol Monaghan: rose—
Carol Monaghan: Does the hon. Lady not accept that using language such as “national living wage” is sinister mischief-making? It is also hugely disrespectful to the Living Wage Foundation, which has set the living wage at £9.15 in London and £7.85 outside.