Corrie Innes has the latest preview of what to expect in Holyrood this week.
Review of Curriculum for Excellence debate
The shadow of the coronavirus pandemic looms large over Holyrood this week, with another ministerial statement on the crisis expected on Tuesday. But currently, Holyrood is expected to continue as normal with a full slate of business planned. On Tuesday, the Government will host a debate on the OECD’s forthcoming review of Curriculum for Excellence. The review was initially commissioned by John Swinney following a report by the Education & Skills Committee before being broadened by MSPs who had wider concerns about the Scottish education system. The report is due for completion by February next year.
FGM Bill reaches Stage 3
Thursday will see Stage 3 proceedings for the Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill. The Bill will create FGM protection orders to protect at-risk women and girls. Despite already being illegal, no one in Scotland has ever been prosecuted for carrying out FGM, despite doctors treating hundreds of victims in recent years. The Bill passed unanimously at Stage 1.
Transport Secretary to give transport update
Michael Matheson will appear before the Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee on Wednesday to provide an update on the progress of the second National Transport Strategy. The free bus travel for under-19s Budget agreement with the Greens is likely to be discussed and he will also speak on bus concessions for older and disabled people.
Committees discuss immigration and Forensic Medical Services Bill
Elsewhere, the Equalities & Human Rights Committee will hold a roundtable session on “destitution, asylum and insecure immigration status”, the Health & Sport Committee will hear evidence at Stage 1 on the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill and the Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee continues its energy inquiry. Mairi Gougeon and Ash Denham will appear before the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform and Justice Committees respectively, to discuss elements of subordinate legislation.
Labour to hold debate on Women in Scotland
Labour will hold a debate on “Women in Scotland” on Wednesday while other debates include Members Business’ sessions on UK immigration policy and TB, hosted by Gordon MacDonald and Miles Briggs respectively. There are three sets of Portfolio Questions scheduled, on Justice, the Economy and Constitution, Europe & External Affairs. Expect questions on COVID-19 and mental healthcare in the prison system, Erasmus+, UK trade deals and Scottish Enterprise.