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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. MSPs back plans for free period products

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Monica Lennon

    MSPs agree the general principles of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, with 112 backing it and just one abstention.

    The member's bill, put forward by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, will make period products available to all free of charge.

    The Scottish government changed its position last week and pledged to support the bill.

    At present tampons, pads and some reusable products are funded in schools, colleges and universities.

    That abstention came from James Dornan, the Local Government and Communities Committee convener, following the Stage One report not backing the general principles.

    Tampons
  2. Restraint guidance to be published in January 2021

    Education Secretary John Swinney
    Image caption: Education Secretary John Swinney

    Education Secretary John Swinney says the Scottish government is seeking to deliver a clear human and child rights based policy on the use of seclusion and restraint in schools.

    He points to a working group being set up to create guidance, with the government planning to consult on this in October 2020.

    The final guidance will be published in January 2021, he says.

  3. 'This is fundamentally a children's rights issue'

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Alison Johnstone says physically restraining and sometimes secluding children with a learning disability is clearly happening too often.

    The Green MSP tells the chamber: "This is fundamentally a children's rights issue."

    She finds it absolutely astonishing there is no accurate recording of the total number of incidents.

    Ms Johnstone welcomes the Scottish government developing a standard reporting system and calls for more resources for additional support needs staff.

  4. Background: New guidance on restraining children

    John Swinney with Nicola Sturgeon
    Image caption: Education Secretary John Swinney made the announcement on new guidance last December

    Last December Education Secretary John Swinney announced the government was to develop and issue new, stronger guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion in Schools.

    Mr Swinney said: “The unlawful use of physical intervention and seclusion is completely unacceptable, and I want to do everything I can to prevent it from happening.

    “That is why I have agreed to introduce new national human rights-based guidance to ensure that for the rare occasions where it is used, it is used lawfully and ensures that children’s rights are protected.

    “We will work with key partners, as well as children, young people and their families to develop the new guidance, with a review taking place a year after its introduction to test its effectiveness.

    “I am confident that by taking forward these actions, we will be able to affect the necessary change.”

  5. Background: No Safe Place found 2,674 incidents of restraint and seclusion in 2017-18

    Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People No Safe Place report

    ENABLE Scotland's campaign, In Safe Hands? seeks to end the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint in schools against children and young people who have a learning disability and promote the rights of some of the country's most vulnerable pupils;

    Ms Baillie's motion also highlights the report from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, No Safe Place, which identified 2,674 incidents of restraint and seclusion relating to 386 children in the school year 2017-18

  6. Government must 'get behind' Enable Scotland recommendations

    Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour
    Image caption: Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour

    Appropriate levels of trained staff in schools must be in place to support pupils with learning disabilities, Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour says.

    He urges the Scottish government to "get behind" the Enable Scotland recommendation to have two trained staff on site at all times.

    Research has found significant variation between local authorities on the guidance and recording of restraint, he adds.

    There is a principle of mainstreaming in Scottish education but the support must be available to make this happen and teaching staff must have the necessary skill sets, the Tory MSP argues.

  7. Here's the motion...

    Motion
  8. Background: Petitioner calls for national guidance on use of restraint and seclusion

    Calum has epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties
    Image caption: Calum has epilepsy, autism and learning difficulties

    Beth Morrison from Dundee has petitioned Holyrood calling for national guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion in Schools.

    In 2017 we reported that Ms Morrison had launched a national campaign after her son Calum sustained injuries at his special school while being restrained.

    She said she became worried when her son came home from school with bruising on his arms and spots on his chest consistent with haemorrhaging caused by being restrained.

    The GP said there was some indication of positional asphyxia - such injuries are often seen in victims of strangulation - which was "very, very serious."

    She says she was later told by an expert that the particular haemorrhaging on his chest could mean Calum had been held face-down, in a prone restraint.

  9. Labour MSP calls for urgent progress on seclusion and restraint of pupils

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie praises Enable Scotland’s latest campaign 'In Safe Hands?' and the campaigning of petitioner Beth Morrison.

    Ms Morrison's petition lodged in the parliament collected stories from over 400 families in Scotland, whose children have experienced seclusion and restraint at school.

    Ms Baillie tells the chamber Beth Morrison is without doubt the inspiration for the refreshed Scottish government guidance in 2017.

    However she says it's clear that guidance is not working.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
    Image caption: Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

    "Suffice to say that progress urgently needs to be made."

    "The human rights of these children and young people with learning disabilities is being breached day in and day out, because of the practice of inappropriate seclusion and restraint."

    She welcomes the short life working group set up by the government, but ponders if statutory guidance is required.

  10. Member's debate: Seclusion and restraint of pupils with a learning disability

    ENABLE Scotland
    Image caption: ENABLE Scotland's In Safe Hands logo

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie leads a member's debate celebrating the ENABLE Scotland campaign, In Safe Hands.

    ENABLE Scotland
    Image caption: ENABLE Scotland
  11. BreakingMSPs back plans for free period products

    MSPs agree the general principles of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, with 112 backing it and just one abstention.

    The member's bill, put forward by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, will make period products available to all free of charge.

    The Scottish government changed its position last week and pledged to support the bill.

    At present tampons, pads and some reusable products are funded in schools, colleges and universities.

    Tampons
  12. 'Access to period products should be a right and available to all'

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Monica Lennon

    Monica Lennon says she is glad all MSPs agree it is unacceptable for periods to still be a taboo.

    The Labour MSP believes constructive work will get the bill to where it needs to be.

    While welcoming the £50m spent by the Scottish government already on free period products, Ms Lennon also points out the cost to the NHS of not taking this bill forward.

    Universal free provision of period products is ambitious and at the heart of this bill, she states.

    "Access to period products should be a right and available to all."

    Ms Lennon pledges to work constructively with MSPs at Stage 2 and accepts there needs to be a discussion on cost.

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Monica Lennon praises campaigners, some of whom are in the gallery
  13. Scotland 'setting an example to the world'

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell
    Image caption: Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell says Scotland is "setting an example to the world" in tackling period poverty.

    She warns the bill risks undermining the "agility" in the current provision of period products which she hopes to deal with at Stage 2.

    I remain ambitious on making period products accessible to all who need them, the minister states.

    But there is more to do as we drive for period justice, she adds, pointing to plans for an app to help locate free products, training development and consideration of health needs for women with excessive bleeding.

    She says the cross-party consensus on the general principles of this bill is a symbol of the parliament's good faith on the issue.

  14. MSPs working together on this bill can end period poverty

    Tory MSP Miles Briggs
    Image caption: Tory MSP Miles Briggs

    Tory MSP Miles Briggs begins by paying tribute to Monica Lennon for all her hard work and also welcomes all the campaigners to the gallery.

    Mr Briggs outlines the difficulties of bringing non-governmental bills to Holyrood, despite the good support provided by the Scottish Parliament team.

    He highlights the important issue of sustainable finance which he says must be addressed at Stage 2 and 3.

    "I am more than happy to support this at Stage 1."

    This bill, if all MSPs work together on it, can end period poverty, he concludes.

  15. Call for collaboration on Period Products Bill

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack praises Ms Lennon for both this bill and "opening up the discussion" around periods.

    Disabled people, those not in work, refugees, those in rural areas, trans people and those in coercive relationships are most at risk of missing out, she says.

    When we get to Stage 2 we must look at this and where to go next, she states.

    Regarding costs, Ms Boyack says we must look at procurement and types of products needed.

    Let's work collectively and collaboratively going forward to deliver a bill we can all be proud of, she concludes.

  16. 'Period dignity warriors'

    Scottish Parliament
    Image caption: The gallery is full of 'period dignity warriors' watching the debate
    View more on twitter
  17. Green MSP 'absolutely certain' universal scheme can be delivered

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Alison Johnstone, closing for the Green Party, says women on average spend £5,000 in their lifetime on period products.

    Being financially penalised for a bodily function is not equitable or just, adds the Green MSP.

    75% of asylum seekers surveyed struggled to access period products, she explains and she calls for a cultural change so that no matter where you go access is just taken for granted.

    On the proposal for universal free access to period products, Ms Johnstone says: "I am absolutely certain this parliament has the ability to deliver such a scheme."