Lib Dems call for school start change to counter covid impact

Scottish Liberal Democrats have demanded a new legal funding guarantee to help families considering delaying their child starting primary school, in light of the impact that COVID-19 has had on children's opportunities to play, socialise and develop the skills they need to thrive when they start school. 

It comes ahead of a vote at Education Committee on Wednesday on an SNP Government proposal that would only grant families the legal right to both defer Primary 1 and have it replaced with funded early learning and childcare from 2023 onwards. 

Scottish Liberal Democrats are demanding that this extra legal right is given to parents across Scotland immediately. 

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Rumbles attacks "Worst response to a committee report I have ever seen"

Scottish Liberal Democrat rural economy and connectivity committee member Mike Rumbles has today blasted the Scottish Government's response to the committee's report on the collapse of the Fergusons shipyard and the failure to deliver a pair of long overdue ferries.

The committee inquiry revealed the Scottish Government chose the most expensive of six shipyards tendering for the contract to build two new ferries in 2015 and paid well over its initial valuations when selecting Ferguson Marine as the successful company. The ferries have so far cost more than £250m.

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Further education has been decimated by the SNP warns Marr

Commenting on new figures from the Scottish Funding Council showing that in 2019-20, enrolments were 21.1% lower than they were in 2010-11, while headcounts were 21.8% lower, Scottish Liberal Democrat higher and further education spokesperson Jenny Marr said:

"The SNP have decimated Scotland's further education sector over the past decade. What's more these figures show that cuts have hit part time courses - most likely to be accessed by women and those from disadvantaged groups - the hardest.

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Rennie Demands SNP Clarity Over Vaccines in Storage

Speaking after he pressed the Deputy First Minister over vaccine stockpiles, Scottish Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie leader said:

"The Deputy First Minister's denial that there are excess supplies of vaccine in storage is beyond belief.

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Bungling Boris Johnson Continues to Boost Division says Carmichael

Commenting on reports that the Prime Minister is set to visit Scotland, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Ronald Reagan famously said that the scariest words in the English language were “I am from the government and I am here to help you. For those of us making the case against separation the Prime Minister making a day trip of this sort has a similar ring.

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Make schools fit for eco-warrior kids says McArthur

Scottish Liberal Democrats have lodged amendments to the Heat Networks Bill to introduce targets intended to decarbonise Scotland's schools. 

The amendments lodged by Liam McArthur MSP would introduce new duties to consider how to connect schools to green Heat Networks as part of a bid drive to decarbonise the school estate.

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Government must immediately fund childcare deferrals, not wait until 2023

Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has written to the Minister for Children and Young People to demand that legislation securing childcare funding for parents who want to defer their child’s school start is immediately brought forward.

Following the campaign run by ‘Give them Time’, the Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd agreed on the need for legislation to upgrade parent’s right to defer and still receive funded childcare. However, the legislative tweak proposed by the Scottish Government would only make this change from August 2023.

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Rennie: Scotland needs needle-sharp recovery, not indyref2

Responding to this morning’s comments from Douglas Ross seemingly conceding there will be another independence referendum, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"Liberal Democrats won't support another independence referendum as we want to put the recovery first.

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First Minister’s vaccine excuses are wearing thin

Responding to the First Minister’s announcement that 415,402 people have been vaccinated, an increase of just 11,364 compared to Saturday, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

“The First Minister's excuses on the roll out of the vaccine are wearing very thin.

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Wishart sets out catch up proposals in letter to Education Minister

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has today sent a letter to Education Secretary John Swinney urging him to introduce urgent measures to employ qualified supply teachers to provide extra support for pupils who would benefit from catch-up support and extra one-on-one learning.

Her letter comes after EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan called for “the rapid employment of supply teachers currently seeking work to provide additional support to those pupils struggling to engage with remote learning.” 

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