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Summary

  1. MSPs take evidence on workforce planning for Scotland’s schools following the teacher recruitment and retention difficulties of late
  2. SNP MSP Ben Macpherson leads a member's debate on restrictions for 18 to 21-year-olds in accessing financial support for housing
  3. Communities, social security and equalities ministers are in the hot seats for portfolio questions
  4. The Scottish Conservatives lead a debate on fisheries
  5. The Tories lead a debate on education
  6. SNP MSP Ash Denham leads this evening's member's debate on Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood
PA

That ends our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Wednesday 17 May 2017.

We'll be back tomorrow morning at 10am.

Have a good night.

Minister says Beth's story and her bravery is the inspiration for raising NF awarness

Eva Beattie with her parents
Eva Beattie
Eva Beattie with her parents

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell says awareness raising of NF is so important.

Ms Campbell says the awareness raising needs to be felt more keenly.

The ministers says the undertaking of an MRI scan is down to clinical decision making and the understanding of NF must be more keenly felt.

She says Beth's story and her bravery is the inspiration that everyone here will use to raise awareness.

Gallery
bbc
Beth's parents are in the gallery

Appropriate and timely interventions for NF are essential says minister

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell
BBC
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell offers her condolences for the loss of "brave little girl Beth Beattie" and commends her parents for their "tireless" fundraising work and for raising awareness of neurofibromatosis (NF).

Ms Campbell says the innovative work of the Funny Lumps charity is greatly appreciated by the parliament.

The public health minister says that appropriate and timely interventions for NF are essential.

She says there is free access to specialist treatment for all those with NF1.

Ms Campbell says the government recognises that NF suffers need support in their day to day lives.

Background: Team Beth fundraising efforts

In February the Daily Record reported that the family of Beth Beattie, who tragically lost her life last November aged four-years-old, had raised over £13,000 for the Memories are Better than Dreams charity.

Team Beth is fundraising for the Ayrshire charity and that figure has raised substantially.

Read more of the story here.

Tory MSP asks why NF is not included in red book

Tory MSP Jamie Greene says he heard Beth's story from her mum Eva in his surgery and that is why he is here.

Mr Greene highlights the opportunities missed and time lost in Beth's medical treatment.

He joins other MSPs in passing on his condolences to the family and friends of Beth.

Mr Greene says the quicker the diagnosis the better the chance of the patient receiving the right treatment.

Tory MSP Jamie Greene
bc
Tory MSP Jamie Greene

The Tory MSP asks why NF is not included in the so-called red book (the Personal Child Health Recordand also why there is no dedicated NF centre in Scotland.

Mr Greene thanks Ash Denham and her parliamentary aide Abigail Lawson for their efforts in bringing this debate to the chamber and also praises Team Beth.

He says he will walk over hot coals for Team Beth if Kenny Gibson does it and there seems to be an agreement.

The deputy presiding officer says neither Mr Greene Or Mr Gibson can back out due to the many, many witnesses.

Labour MSP pays tribute to those who raise awareness of NF

Labour MSP Colin Smyth
BBC

Labour MSP Colin Smyth says he can't imagine how "utterly heartbreaking" it must be for Beth's parents to loose her at such a young age.

Mr Smyth says Beth's parents should feel a great deal of pride in the work they have done to increase awareness of the disease.

The Labour MSP says he was not aware of the way NF can manifest itself in so many different ways.

He pays tribute to the nurses and clinicians who do play an important role in supporting people with the disease.

Mr Smyth also commends the charities who "punch above their weight" in raising awareness of the disease and pays tribute to those suffering from NF.

Tory MSP says it is important medical professionals are aware of NF

Tory MSP Donald Cameron
bbc
Tory MSP Donald Cameron

Tory MSP Donald Cameron says the Neuro Foundation says 2.5m people worldwide have a form of NF.

Mr Cameron says lack of knowledge of the condition is a concern for medical professionals as well.

He says it must be important for our medical professionals to be aware of such conditions.

Mr Cameron praises the work of the Neuro Foundation and Funny Lumps.

He praises "this brave young child" Beth Beattie and adds his condolences for her sad passing last November.

'Raising awareness is of the utmost importance for fostering hope'

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson
BBC

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says neurofibromatosis (NF) affects more than 2000 people in Scotland.

Mr Gibson says over 60% of those with the disease suffer learning difficulties.

The SNP MSP says that often sufferers have to explain conditions to their GP and that can lead to mis-diagnosis.

Mr Gibson says Beth Beattie, who died in November from the disease at the age of four, was not diagnosed with NF for the first 10 months of her life.

He says Beth was seen by numerous medical professionals who failed to diagnose NF. He says "raising awareness is of the utmost importance for fostering hope."

The SNP MSP praises the work of Team Beth in their fundraising efforts for Memories are Better than Dreams.

Background: Funny Lumps

Funny Lumps
Funny Lumps
Funny Lumps

Funny Lumps supports children and their families in Scotland living with Neurofibromatosis.

Background: What is Neurofibromatosis?

The Neuro Foundation
The Neuro Foundation
The Neuro Foundation

According to the Neuro Foundation:

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition. This means it belongs to a group of health conditions that can be passed on in families from one generation to the next through the process of genetic inheritance.

NF occurs in all races. It affects both men (and boys) and women (and girls) equally.

NF varies from one person to another even in the same family. Some people will be mildly affected with very few health problems. Others will have some serious health problems that mean that daily life is difficult and it restricts what they can do.

With a condition that varies so much, it is important to learn some basic facts about NF, and to understand when you need to seek help from your doctor.

Neurofibromatosis is in fact a term for a group of conditions affecting mainly the nervous system and skin. There are differences in the three main groups: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and Schwannomatosis.

Read more at the Neuro Foundation website here.

Importance of Neurofibromatosis (NF) Awareness Day raised by SNP MSP

Ash Denham
bbc

Ms Denham praises Funny Lumps and the Neuro Foundation.

She says one of her staff members has an eight year old son with NF and is frustrated that some medical professionals have not even heard of NF.

Team Beth fundraising efforts in memory of Beth Beattie

In February the Daily Record reported that the family of Beth Beattie, who tragically lost her life last November aged four-years-old, had raised over £13,000 for the Memories are Better than Dreams charity.

Team Beth is fundraising for the Ayrshire charity.

Read more of the story here.

"There is no cure for neurofibromatosis'

Ash Denham
BBC

Ms Denham says getting through a class or a work day with neurofibromatosis (NF) is hard in itself but that is worse when teachers in the classroom are not aware of the disease.

The SNP MSP says NF often comes with learning difficulties and physical defects such as visible lumps and bumbs on the body.

"There is no cure for NF," she says.

She says if someone has NF there is a 50% chance that their children will have it too.

Debate dedicated to Beth Beattie

In her motion Ms Denham says NF is a progressive condition and can cause a variety of problems, including physical and learning difficulties and mental health issues, and is also linked to autism.

The SNP MSP says there are concerns that, due to lack of awareness, those affected may not receive the correct treatment in time,

She hopes that across all UK NHS boards NF patients will receive regular routine monitoring by specialists, in memory of the incredibly determined, Beth Beattie, who sadly passed away on 4 November 2016, aged four-years-old.

Background: Beth's story

Beth Beattie wih her parents
Eva Beattie
Beth Beattie wih her parents

This evening's debate is dedicated to Beth Beattie who sadly passed away last November aged four-years-old.

Her mother Eva Beattie tells of how doctors missesd the Neurofiromatosis 1 diagnosis on a number of occasions.

She says eventually the disorder was eventually diagnosed.

Later scans revealed two large brain tumours.

Eva says: "Heartbroken doesn’t touch the physical pain you feel when you receive news like this."

She says: "With many ups and downs along the way, it was almost 7 months after that MRI scan, on November 4th 2016 that Beth passed away at home only four years old."

"This is a rather factual account of Beth’s story. It goes no way to convey what a special, gentle little pal she was. It doesn’t begin to describe the love, laughter and joy she brought into the lives of those she touched. It doesn’t reveal her good natured cheekiness, bravery or beauty."

The Beatties are calling for better awareness amongst medical professionals of Neurofibromatosis (NF) to avoid missed opporutunities of early diagnois.

They are also calling for regular MRI scans for all those living with NF and they highlight the lack of a specialist centre in Scotland.

Team Beth is fundraising for the Ayrshire charity Memories are Better than Dreams and has already raised thousands of pounds in the name and memory of Beth.

'What we say today we say in honour of Beth'

Beth's parents are in the gallery for the debate
bbc
Beth's parents are in the gallery for the debate

SNP MSP Ash Denham pays tribute to Beth Beattie who sadly passed away on the 4 November at only four-years-old.

Ms Denham says her parents Roger and Eva are in the gallery today.

"What we say today we say in honour of Beth," she says.

SNP MSP highlights Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day

Ms Denham uses her motion to highlight the fact that 17 May 2017 is Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day.

The SNP MSP says neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder that causes tumours to grow on the nerves and that tumours can develop anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

She says there is no known cure for the condition, which people are born with due to a genetic mutation.

1 in 3,000 people are currently diagnosed with the condition, however many go undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness.

Here is the motion for the Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day debate

Here is the motion for the Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day debate
bbc
Here is the motion for the Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day debate

Neurofibromatosis Awareness day

SNP MSP Ash Dehnam will now lead a member's debate highlighting Neurofibromatosis Awareness day.

Here we go again..............

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead raises a point of order again about Tory MSP Douglas Ross.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh says Mr Ross did not misrepresent himself.

The Tory motion as amended on the teacher training programme is agreed to unanimously

The Tory motion as amended on the teacher training programme is agreed to unanimously

Tory motion
Scottish Parliament
Gov amendment
Scottish Parliament
Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Labour amendment on the teacher training programme is agreed to

The Labour amendment on the teacher training programme is agreed to unanimously.

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The government amendment on the teacher training programme is agreed to

The government amendment on the teacher training programme is agreed to.

Government amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Tory motion, as amended, on fisheries is

The Tory motion, as amended, on fisheries is agreed to with 83 MSPs backing it, 27 against and with one abstention.

Tory motion
Scottish Parliament
Gov amendment
Scottish Parliament
Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Labour amendment on fisheries is agreed to

The Labour amendment on fisheries is agreed to with 83 MSPs backing it, 27 against and one against.

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The government amendment on fisheries is agreed to

The government amendment on fisheries is agreed to with 83 MSPs backing it, 27 against and with one abstention.

Government
Scottish Parliament

We now move to decision time

And, finally, it's decision time........................

'Keep matters best left on the electoral trail on the electoral trail'

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh
bbc
Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh says he would encourage Mr Stevenson to keep matters best left on the electoral trail on the electoral trail and not bring them to the chamber.

Point of Order

SNP MSP Stuart Stevenson
BBC

SNP MSP Stuart Stevenson raises a point of order over Tory MSP Douglas Ross saying that in his area of Moray and beyond it came close to voting leave and that the vote was made up of the coastal community.

Mr Stevenson says he has not been approached by Mr Ross to ask if he can raise a constituency issue in the area the he represents.

The SNP MSP says this is against the rules.

Tory MSP calls on government to 'top lurching from crisis to crisis in education'

Tory MSP Ross Thomson says it has become abundantly clear the content of teacher training is failing our future teachers.

Mr Thomson says there is evidence of failure in numeracy and literacy levels and too much time is spent on theory than in the classroom.

The Tory MSP raises concerns about the training in additional support needs and he says it is "nothing short of absurd" that there is not more ASN training.

Tory MSP Ross Thomson
bbc
Tory MSP Ross Thomson

Mr Thomson says many trainees feel, in their own words, "ill equipped" for going into the classroom.

The Tory MSP says it is time for the Scottish government to "top lurching from crisis to crisis in education".

'There is a solid core from which to work and improve'

Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville
BBC
Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville

Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville says she is happy to support both the Tory motion and Labour amendment.

Ms Somerville says she has been very concerned about some of the evidence given to the Education Committee.

The higher education minister says "there is a solid core from which to work and improve" and the government will continue to invest in this area.

She says initial teacher training should prepare teachers but the real experiences exist when they start in the classroom.

Ms Somerville says this debate, the work of the committee and government shine a light on the training programme and where improvements can be made.

Initial teacher training should be about the attractiveness about the profession itself

Labour MSP Iain Gray
BBC

Labour MSP Iain Gray says the debate has had a consensual tone which is important and that it is not just about literacy and numeracy but teacher training in general.

Mr Gray says the Education Committee and Scottish Government has carried out good work on researching issues in teacher training.

The Labour MSP says there is a need for more adoptive children are so often at the wrong end of the attainment gap and have attachment issues and that there needs to be more training for teachers dealing with there pupils.

He says initial teacher training should be about the attractiveness about the profession itself.

The debate begins after decision time......

Lib Dem MSP highlights witness saying teacher workload is increasing

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says Jane Peckham from the NASUWT told the Education Committee 62% of her members were considering leaving the teaching profession altogether.

Mr Scott says Ms Peckham says workload has increased not fallen.

The Lib Dem MSP says there is a need for a change in the central structure of education in Scotland.

Mr Scott says cutbacks in classroom assistants have an enormous impact.

Background: School staff member told 'watch Big Bang Theory' as Asperger's training

Sylvia Haughney said the training she received when going into teaching is "just gone" today
BBC
Sylvia Haughney said the training she received when going into teaching is "just gone" today

A member of staff at a Scottish school was told to "watch The Big Bang Theory" as training to deal with a pupil with Asperger syndrome, MSPs were told in March.

Holyrood's education committee took evidence on support for pupils with additional needs.

Sylvia Haughney, a support for learning instructor, said there was not enough teacher training.

She said a support worker had been advised to watch American sitcom The Big Bang Theory as a form of training.

Quality of a placement for a student can be a postcode lottery says Greens MSP

Greens MSP Ross Greer
BBC

Greens MSP Ross Greer says the evidence on teacher training for additional support needs is stark and cannot be ignored.

Mr Greer highlights the evidence where one teacher was advised to watch the Big Bang Theory to better understand Asperger syndrome.

The Greens MSP says the quality of a placement for a student can be a postcode lottery.

He says with access to the proper support throughout their career, teachers can continue to access the training they require.

More standardised approach required says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor
BBC

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor welcomes the consensual amendment from Liz Smith.

Mr MacGregor says the Scottish government has acknowledged that there is room for improvement and that noone would disagree that that a high class education system is essential.

The SNP MSP makes the point that teaching on support needs varied from university to university and that there should be a more standardised approach.

He makes the point that there is support for the Scottish government in providing free tuition.