Results 121–140 of 1492 for speaker:Mark McDonald

Scottish Parliament: Generations Working Together ( 6 Sep 2017)

Mark McDonald: I was just about to mention Christine Grahame. If I have time, I will take her intervention.

Scottish Parliament: Generations Working Together ( 6 Sep 2017)

Mark McDonald: Yes, it is fair to say that, after what I saw today, I am keen to encourage the development of the approach. As we heard in the debate, this excellent and innovative approach is being taken in other locations, and we need to try to join things up a little better. Great work is happening, but sometimes we do not hear about it and spread the message as widely as we could. I was about to mention...

Scottish Parliament: Boys Brigade Juniors 100th Anniversary ( 5 Sep 2017)

Mark McDonald: I congratulate Alexander Stewart on securing the first members’ business debate of the new term and thank all members who have participated in the debate, which has been interesting and positive. I feel that I should begin with a confession: unlike the other speakers, I was not a member of the Boys Brigade; I came through the scouting movement in my youth.

Scottish Parliament: Boys Brigade Juniors 100th Anniversary ( 5 Sep 2017)

Mark McDonald: I know, I know. I say to Mr Gray that it is just one of those things. However, it is a privilege to be part of the Boys Brigade centenary celebrations that Mr Stewart is highlighting in the chamber this evening. It is clear that the sheer variety of activities that have been carried out over the Boys Brigade’s 100 years have stood all the young people who have taken part—including the...

Scottish Parliament: Boys Brigade Juniors 100th Anniversary ( 5 Sep 2017)

Mark McDonald: I am grateful that I was able to afford Fulton MacGregor that opportunity. He highlights the impact that volunteers who support young people across Scotland have on young people as they move into adulthood. Many of those individuals are not forgotten in terms of their impact. We recognise and value the contribution that the Boys Brigade, the other uniformed organisations, youth work and the...

Scottish Parliament: Education Governance (28 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: On the vocabulary gap, Tavish Scott will be aware that that issue is part of the focus of my work on the early years agenda—for example, expanding the amount of early years education that is available, and expanding health visitor pathways and family support. The approach is about getting early intervention in place. Therefore, work is on-going, as he and I have discussed and debated in the...

Scottish Parliament: Online Exploitation and Abuse of Children (27 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: As others have done, I congratulate my friend Gillian Martin on bringing this important debate to the chamber. Gillian struck a note of caution in her speech when she said that this was a very hard issue for her to discuss in the chamber. I do not think that any of us should ever feel in any way apologetic for that. The fact that we find this subject difficult is essentially a reaffirmation...

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (Local Authority Funding) (14 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: The Scottish Government has provided local authorities with £650 million since 2014 to fund the expansion to 600 hours. We are committed to funding fully the almost doubling of that entitlement to 1,140 hours per year by 2020. We have provided additional funding to local authorities in 2017-18 to support the first phase of capacity building that is required for the expansion to 1,140 hours....

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (Local Authority Funding) (14 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: I have been keen throughout the process to ensure that registered childminders have a role to play in the expansion. We are currently in discussion with local authorities regarding what their plans will be for the expansion, and we expect them to report back to us in September on those plans. I have made it very clear, both in the statement that I gave to Parliament and in the direction that...

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (Local Authority Funding) (14 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: As I have said in the chamber previously, the Scottish Government recognises that we have fully funded the expansion. That was evidenced by the financial return, which showed the £650 million of investment since 2014 and demonstrated that not all that money had made it to being spent on early learning and childcare. Our focus now is to ensure that we continue discussion and dialogue with...

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (Local Authority Funding) (14 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: It is important that we ensure that flexibility is an integral part of the offering. I made that clear in my statement and in my discussions with local authorities. However, I believe that there has to be flexibility in both directions. I recently addressed a conference on family-friendly working in Victoria Quay, at which I said that as well as flexibility from early learning and childcare...

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (Local Authority Funding) (14 Jun 2017)

Mark McDonald: When local authorities take the decisions that they must take in terms of their priorities, it is important that they think very carefully about the impact of those decisions. I recognise the concerns that Fulton MacGregor is raising—he has raised them with me previously, outside the chamber. Local authorities need to think carefully about the importance of early intervention and funding to...

Scottish Parliament: Protecting Workers’ Rights (31 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: rose—

Scottish Parliament: Child Safety Week (31 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: Presiding Officer, you have somewhat stolen my thunder, because I was going to follow on from Mr Ruskell in talking about the ecumenical nature of the Tufty club. I, too, was a member of the club in the 1980s, which I suspect was somewhat later than either Mr Ruskell or Mr Stewart, but clearly, it has many august graduates. I congratulate Clare Adamson on bringing the debate to the chamber. I...

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Education (16 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: I welcome this evening’s debate, which was brought to the chamber by Brian Whittle. It provides an opportunity for the Government to restate its commitment to outdoor learning and acknowledge the great work that is being done by teachers, support staff and parents across the country. They, along with local organisations and charities and their staff and volunteers, are making sure that...

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Education (16 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: I am happy to take a brief intervention.

Scottish Parliament: Outdoor Education (16 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: I was going to talk a little bit about Scottish Natural Heritage and the development of “Our Natural Health: An Action Plan”, which aims to join up a range of work on encouraging greater understanding of the natural environment. I freely admit that I was not aware of the specific example that the member cited until he raised it. I am happy to look into it further and to see what role that...

Scottish Parliament: Keeping Children Safe Online (11 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: I will happily give way.

Scottish Parliament: Keeping Children Safe Online (11 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: I thank Mr Stevenson for his intervention. He has somewhat pre-empted what I was going to speak about a little later, but I will respond to him directly now. I absolutely agree with him and I recognise the situations that he describes. As a parent, I sometimes find it difficult to relate to my daughter’s online activity on her tablet device. I would not class myself as being all that old,...

Scottish Parliament: Keeping Children Safe Online (11 May 2017)

Mark McDonald: Mr Johnson makes a fair point. The Government is committed not only to ensuring that we review initial teacher education but to looking at the continuous professional development that is available to teachers and how we can make that more relevant. We have a number of programmes under way that focus on how we empower pupils and teachers in this regard, and I am more than happy to write to Mr...


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