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  1. The education committee continues its inquiry into the Scottish national standardised assessments
  2. The Scotties Tories lead debates on education and crime
  3. An SNP MSP highlights the Equally Safe at Work scheme

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Emma Gordon

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!


    That's all from Holyrood Live on Wednesday 30 January 2018.

    An international expert who advises the Scottish government on education took the controversial test for primary one pupils, and told the education committee: "I didn't find all the questions easy."

    Professor Andy Hargreaves also warned of a "possibility" that the strategy of testing youngsters as part of efforts to close the attainment gap in schools may not be successful.

    He told how Scotland is "at the front edge of the world" with efforts to ensure the large-scale testing of pupils do not bring "negative consequences" for pupils or teachers.

    However he said there is a question over whether improvements in education standards brought about by such standardised assessments are "authentic".

  2. Violence against women costs potential

    Christina McKelvie

    In closing, Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie tells the chamber violence again women comes at a true cost, affecting potential.

    She says she hopes what has been launched today flourishes, saying politicians across the divide are working together to see it through.

    Ms McKelvie says raising awareness is important, but that society needs to stop accepting that women are subordinate to men.

    She says much more needs to be done to make women equally represented in all walks of life, and that the gender pay gap needs to be closed.

  3. Lib Dem MSP wishes Close the Gap well

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says the gender pay gap means on average sees women earn £183 a week less than men,

    Mr McArthur highlights that over a lifetime women can earn a colossal half a million pounds less than men.

    He says there are probably many self-serving reasons that businesses need to take sexual harassment more seriously.

    The Lib Dem MSP concludes wishing Close the Gap well.

  4. Green MSP: 'Workplace not immune'

    John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie welcomes the Close the Gap campaign to tackle abuse in the workplace.

    He says this should be a cross-party issue, and it's up to everyone to work towards eradicating violence against women.

    70% of women have experienced or witnessed someone being harassed in the workplace, he tells MSPs, calling the statistic "damning".

    Mr Finnie says the workplace is not immune from this type of behaviour, and says Parliament will be watching developments closely.

  5. Labour MSP praises groundbreaking work of Close the Gap

    Jackie Baillie

    Jackie Baillie says violence against women and girls simply cannot go on for any longer.

    The Labour MSP adds that progress has been made, but there is still much to be done.

    She praises the groundbreaking work of Close the Gap, saying they understand the need for legislative changes which are needed to end work place gender inequality.

    Ms Baillie says, through evidence based advice and guidance, employers will be able to support women who have been sexually harassed.

  6. Background: Equally Safe

    Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy to eradicate violence against women.

    This is a joint Scottish Government and COSLA strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls in Scotland.

    Scottish government

    According to the Scottish government

    The vision of Equally Safe

    • strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse and the attitudes that help perpetuate it

    Aim of Equally Safe

    • To work collaboratively with key partners in the public, private and third sectors to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls
  7. #MeToo has led to a greater understanding of the issue

    Annie Wells

    Annie Wells, for the Tories, says the #MeToo campaign has led to a greater awareness of the issue.

    The Glasgow MSP employers have a greater role to play, because it would force them to consider the issues that women may face in the workplace.

    She says women will earn £70,000 less than men over their working life, and says there needs to be more debate on issues like childcare to help close the gap.

  8. All 32 local authorities responded to the Close the Gap accreditation scheme positively

    SNP MSP Gail Ross
    Image caption: SNP MSP Gail Ross

    SNP MSP Gail Ross says women's inequality at work reduces their financial independence, restricts employment, and life choices.

    For too long the issue has been seen by employers, along with violence against women, as something for others to deal with says Ms Ross.

    She tells the chamber all 32 local authorities responded to the Close the Gap accreditation scheme positively.

    Ms Ross points out stalkers or domestic abusers can use a woman's work to harass her, and says sexual harassment at work must be tackled.

  9. Background: Equally Safe at Work

    From Close the Gap:

    "Our accreditation programme will ensure women are Equally Safe at Work"

    "From research conducted by Close the Gap, we found that there are no employer accreditation programmes focusing on gender equality at work and violence against women at work in Scotland or the UK, revealing a clear gap in provision.

    "This programme will enable local authorities to demonstrate good practice and show leadership in addressing violence against women. It also provides the opportunity for employers to make the connection that preventing violence against women starts with advancing gender equality.

    "Equally Safe recognises that employers have a key role to play in supporting victim-survivors and tackling perpetrators because violence against women is a employment issue whether it occurs inside or outside of the workplace."

  10. Here's the motion for the debate......

  11. 'Equally Safe at Work' debate

    Woman at work

    SNP MSP Gail Ross will now lead a debate on the new employer accreditation programme pilot, Equally Safe at Work.

    Close the Gap have developed Equally safe At Work, which is part of the implementation of the Equally Safe.

  12. Decision time......

    Turning to the mainstreaming debate, Education Secretary John Swinney sees his amendment unanimously backed, but Labour's MSP Iain Gray's is rejected, with 27 MSPs backing it and 92 against.

    Tory MSP Liz Smith's motion, as amended by the government, is agreed to unanimously.

    Community Safety Minister Ash Denham's amendment from the debate on antisocial behaviour is agreed to with 69 voting for it and 50 against, causing Labour's amendment from Daniel Johnson to fall.

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr's motion, as amended by the government, is unanimously passed.

  13. Tory MSP calls again for a higher level of fine for antisocial behaviour

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne
    Image caption: Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne says antiscocial behaviour is on the rise with people facing frustration, irritation and sometimes fear.

    Ms Ballantyne adds Police Scotland's figures showed there were 343,570 incidents of antisocial behaviour in the last year, that's 940 incidents a day.

    That's only the tip of the iceberg, she says.

    The Tory MSP insists there is an antisocial behaviour problem and calls for a higher level of fine.

  14. 'Lack of detail' in Tory motion

    In closing, the SNP's Ash Denham says there is a lack of detail in the Conservative motion.

    The community safety minister says fixed penalty notices have a role to play, but early intervention is the key to tackling anti-social behaviour.

    She says a one size fits all approach is not appropriate.

    Tory MSPs laugh when she says their statistics do not match with her statistics, which show long-term trends are down.

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr points to a short-term rise in the number of penalty notices issued.

    Ms Denham says the government is committed to dealing with the issue.

    Ash Denham
  15. 'What we do need is evidence'

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Daniel Johnson

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says all MSPs agree that early intervention is important and giving the police powers to intervene is important

    Mr Johnson does not think the Tory motion is evidenced and hence his amendment.

    "What we do need is evidence."

    He doubts whether an increase in fixed penalties would reduce antisocial behaviour.

  16. Lib Dem MSP expresses concerns about Tory proposal to tackle antisocial behaviour

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur argues the rationale for fixed-penalty notices is clear, but says there are concerns about the calls from the Tories to create two tiers of penalty level.

    Mr McArthur asks at what point is the line drawn between offences.

    He points out police officers already have the power to deal with more serious antisocial behaviour.

    I'm not opposed to a higher level of fixed-penalty notices, but more evidence is required before parliament commits itself to what parliament is proposing, he concludes.