Results 141–160 of 1492 for speaker:Mark McDonald

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

Mark McDonald: On behalf of the Scottish Government, I am pleased to open this debate on child internet safety and to move the motion in my name. On 21 April this year, I launched the “National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People”, which sets out 23 actions for the Scottish Government and partners to improve internet safety for children and young people. In developing the action...

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

Mark McDonald: I accept that point—and I think I did so in my speech. That is why I have committed to working with parent and carer organisations, which are often those that are best placed to reach out to some parents who will perhaps not access some of the opportunities that already exist but which are perhaps not as well publicised as they could be. That is why I have made that commitment to engage...

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

Mark McDonald: I note that you got the compliments in before I speak, Presiding Officer. I hope that Tavish Scott has paid attention—as I know he does—to the fact that, yet again, I have brought to the chamber a debate that will unite us in commonality of purpose. I am sure that he will be keeping note of that. I apologise that, in this debate, I was not able to facilitate his getting away for the early...

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

Mark McDonald: I do not have specific views on the best model, but we want to cut down on the opportunities for online abuse and, where that abuse takes place, we want to prevent it as quickly as we can. I finish by highlighting a point that Ruth Maguire made. She praised the work of Police Scotland with its choices for life peer-mentoring programme. I had the opportunity to see first hand that work at...

Scottish Parliament: Child Tax Credit Cuts (25 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: Child Tax Credit Cuts (25 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: rose —

Scottish Parliament: Child Tax Credit Cuts (25 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: rose —

Scottish Parliament: Child Tax Credit Cuts (25 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: rose—

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: The Scottish Government does not support physical punishment of children. We have no current plans to introduce Government legislation in the area, but we will consider carefully the member’s bill that we understand John Finnie intends to introduce. We continue to support positive parenting and we recognise that physical punishment can set children the wrong example and is not an effective...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: As I have stated, the Government does not support physical punishment of children. We take an approach that is about positive parenting and about ensuring that parents feel confident and empowered to take other approaches to disciplining their children. Evidence from the growing up in Scotland longitudinal study that the Government is carrying out demonstrates among parents in Scotland a...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: In Scotland, the area of legislation to which Liam McArthur refers predates both his and my time in Parliament. I believe that the legislation was piloted through Parliament by Jim Wallace, who was the Minister for Justice at the time. There was much debate in Parliament around the position that the Scottish Executive of the time took. We will always pay close attention to international...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: The Government considers the findings in terms of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Work is taking place across all portfolios in the Government, including mine, looking at how we can ensure that the principles that sit behind the UNCRC are taken forward in the Scottish context.

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: The Government’s aspiration is that all Scotland’s children have the best possible start in life. As I said to Liam McArthur, we believe that the way to do that is to have parents who feel empowered and confident to support their children as they grow up. The Government is taking forward a number of different strategies in that respect—the national parenting strategy being the most...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: I would not single out any one example as being indicative of what may or may not occur in the Scottish context. Liam McArthur cited Ireland and Douglas Ross cited New Zealand. We can look broadly at international examples and determine what will be the right approach for Scotland. The Government currently takes the position that its approach is to promote positive parenting strategies,...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Physical Punishment) (18 Apr 2017)

Mark McDonald: As I mentioned, we take a cross-portfolio approach to our responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by looking at how each portfolio interacts with the convention’s requirements. On Monica Lennon’s specific question about the mental health strategy, we will also be taking forward a child and adolescent health and wellbeing strategy, which will very...

Scottish Parliament: Nurseries (North East Scotland) (30 Mar 2017)

Mark McDonald: This Government has done more than any previous Administration—or, indeed, the United Kingdom Government—to expand and invest in early learning and childcare. We have provided an additional £10.9 million of revenue funding to Aberdeen City Council and £14.6 million to Aberdeenshire Council over 2014-15 to 2016-17 to support the expansion to 600 hours of free childcare through local...

Scottish Parliament: Nurseries (North East Scotland) (30 Mar 2017)

Mark McDonald: Let us just deal with the facts about Bridges Pre-School Nurseries. It operates two facilities in Westhill in Mr Burnett’s constituency—one in Lawsondale Avenue and one in Arnhall. The nursery at Lawsondale Avenue is closing, but it provides no places that are funded through the Scottish Government or the local authority. However, council officials have advised that the company’s...

Scottish Parliament: Early Learning and Childcare (23 Mar 2017)

Mark McDonald: This Government is committed to delivering a bright future for Scotland’s children, and key to that is ensuring that all our children get the best possible start in life. That is why we have done more than any previous devolved Administration—and indeed any other Government in the United Kingdom—to expand high-quality, free early learning and childcare provision. If we are to achieve...

Scottish Parliament: Early Learning and Childcare (23 Mar 2017)

Mark McDonald: I thank Liz Smith for her positive approach to this issue and her welcome for the Government’s approach. We will give careful consideration to how quality will be measured, because we want to ensure that where those standards are in place we keep track of different providers’ performance in relation to them. Part of the judgment in developing the standards will be how they are measured as...

Scottish Parliament: Early Learning and Childcare (23 Mar 2017)

Mark McDonald: The capital allocation this year is to allow local authorities to start the process of developing their expansion plans towards 2020. Today’s announcement provides the clarity that local authorities will want about what the model will be and about our approach to provider status, which will help them to refine the plans that they have been discussing with the Scottish Futures Trust. As I...


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