Results 1–20 of 171 for speaker:Natalie Don

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Learning (Schools) (21 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: As part of our “Learning for sustainability: action plan 2023 to 2030”, which was published in June 2023, we have committed to establishing a new national policy workstream on outdoor learning, to be supported by a national working group that will report to the Scottish ministers. The group will pursue a range of actions to ensure that all children and young people receive entitlement to...

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Learning (Schools) (21 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: I have discussed the draft bill’s proposals with Ms Smith on several occasions, most recently earlier this year, and I will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months following the bill’s formal introduction, which I believe is imminent. As with any new legislative proposal, all stakeholder views must be taken into account and the full range of consequences and costs must be...

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Learning (Schools) (21 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: Universities are playing a really important role. A good example of that is Queen Margaret University’s new outdoor learning hub, which my colleague Graeme Dey, the Minister for Higher and Further Education, opened earlier this week. Further examples are the courses that are offered by universities including Queen Margaret University, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Stirling...

Scottish Parliament: Further Education (Industrial Action) ( 5 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: The Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Minister for Veterans meets the campus unions biannually and meets regularly with representatives of the sector in a number of forums. As he committed to doing, in the chamber just last week, he will continue to engage with both management and unions, as and when appropriate, as they continue to work together to reach a settlement that is...

Scottish Parliament: Further Education (Industrial Action) ( 5 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: The fair work first criteria set out a range of fair work practices, including “payment of ... the real Living Wage ... no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts”; the offering of “flexible and family friendly working practices”; and “investment in workforce development”. We expect the fair work first criteria to be upheld. With regard to the specific issue that Katy Clark has...

Scottish Parliament: Further Education (Industrial Action) ( 5 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: As I already mentioned, operational decisions on resourcing and staffing matters are for individual institutions, and ministers have no direct role in those decisions. The Minister for Higher and Further Education wrote to college principals last year to reiterate the importance that the Scottish Government places on use of fair work practices in the college sector. He made it clear that he...

Scottish Parliament: Further Education (Industrial Action) ( 5 Mar 2024)

Natalie Don: I absolutely agree that more than a decade of Westminster austerity has had a simply devastating impact on the public finances. [ Interruption .] I hear the groans from Conservative members, but that is absolutely correct. The fact that austerity is now supported by Labour and the Tories only confirms that the Westminster parties are not working for Scotland. Despite the United Kingdom...

Scottish Parliament: Nursery-age Childcare Funding (29 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: In 2024-25, the Scottish Government will continue to invest around £1 billion to fund local authorities to provide 1,140 hours a year of high-quality funded early learning and childcare to all eligible children. We are also investing an additional £16 million in-year to deliver our commitment to enable childcare workers delivering funded ELC in private and third sector services to be paid...

Scottish Parliament: Nursery-age Childcare Funding (29 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: I start by saying how much I value the work and efforts of our PVI sector in delivering funded childcare. The average rate paid by local authorities to providers for delivering ELC has increased by 64.1 per cent since 2017. However, there is still variation across Scotland, and I have been clear that, where improvements can be made to the rate-setting process, I want such improvements to be...

Scottish Parliament: Nursery-age Childcare Funding (29 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: It would not be appropriate for me to intervene directly in the internal decision-making processes of an individual local authority in relation to the delivery of ELC. However, I expect any changes to service delivery in any local authority to be made in line with statutory duties and to take account of the Scottish Government and local government’s shared aims of ELC expansion. Those...

Scottish Parliament: Nursery-age Childcare Funding (29 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: We understand that the needs of parents, families and children in different areas across the country are very distinct. In our six early adopter areas, we are diving into what families need. We are working with families, children and providers to understand what is required in those local areas and to help us to build our future system of childcare. Flexibility is a key part of that.

Scottish Parliament: Young People (Care) (22 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: The Scottish Government is clear in its commitment to keep the Promise. We have made good progress but, of course, we can always go further. Action is under way across ministerial portfolios, including progress to stage 3 of the Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill, engagement on our commitment to a £2,000 care leaver payment, and investment in prevention through whole family...

Scottish Parliament: Young People (Care) (22 Feb 2024)

Natalie Don: I thank the member for that question. Equally, I am thankful for the Who Cares? Scotland report, which highlights the areas where further work is required. We are determined to drive forward the transformational change that is required to keep the Promise. I fully believe that the actions that the Government has taken, is taking and will take will help us to achieve that. As well as the areas...

Scottish Parliament: Promise Oversight Board Report (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: I thank members for the opportunity to close the debate and thank all members who have made considered contributions. As has been noted, it is our ambition for all children to grow up loved, safe and respected and to reach their full potential. It is absolutely essential that we turn that ambition into a reality for all care-experienced children and young people across Scotland. It is...

Scottish Parliament: Promise Oversight Board Report (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: As Mr Whitfield will be aware, the Promise bill will be introduced by the end of the current parliamentary session, and we will take all considerations on board. The Promise oversight board recently wrote to the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport in relation to homelessness and suicide prevention. We really appreciate the board’s feedback on...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: I thank Pam Duncan-Glancy for the spotlight that her bill has shone on transitions to adulthood for disabled people and for setting out her personal experience in her contribution today. I also pay tribute to those who have worked with her on developing the bill. I express my appreciation to the convener, Sue Webber, and all the members of the Education, Children and Young People Committee...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: We are already taking action now, through the statement of intent. We are listening to feedback and encouraging further action. As I said, the strategy, which will be published by the end of next year, will involve direct input from the statement of intent.

Scottish Parliament: Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: I will come on to much of that later in my speech. If Pam Duncan-Glancy is happy for me to do so, I will set that out as I go along. I absolutely want things to happen faster, and where I can push for further change, I absolutely will. I will now turn to the bill and say why, despite my gratitude to Pam Duncan-Glancy and those who have supported her in her work, I agree with the committee’s...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: Thank you, Presiding Officer. With apologies to Pam Duncan-Glancy, as I said earlier, I will come on to those points. For now, I am just laying out my concerns, which were reiterated by the committee’s convener. It is also unclear who would be responsible for managing and implementing individual transition plans, particularly when a young person has left school. The bill mandates a plan for...

Scottish Parliament: Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (23 Nov 2023)

Natalie Don: The member said that the Government does not want to take the bill to stage 2, but clearly she is hearing concerns, not only from the committee but from across the chamber, about how the legislation is not necessarily the right way to achieve the aims.


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