The Scottish Government consultation sets out the proposals for the question to be asked and the rules governing the campaign and the vote. A draft Referendum Bill is set out as an appendix to the document. The consultation seeks views on a number of issues, including what the ballot paper should say, what spending limits should be set on campaign groups and how the referendum should be managed and regulated. It also sets out the timetable for parliamentary and public debate. Responses to this consultation will be used to inform the further development of the bill before it is debated in the Scottish Parliament during 2013.
The consultation is open to the public, however responses must be completed by 11 May 2012. I urge anyone who reads this (and lives in Scotland) to read it carefully and respond accordingly, regardless of political affiliation. This referendum has the clout to change Scotland forever and the opinion and voice of The Scottish People must be heard.
I’ll be blogging more about the consultation and I’ll be setting out my own stall for Home Rule circa March 2012. Watch this space or sign up and I’ll send my thoughts directly to your RSS Feed or your inbox. If you read this and don’t yet follow me on twitter – please connect with me and I’d love to enter into a debate with you – @leeandrewdunn. I’ll follow back regardless of your opinion.
You can read more about the consultation by following this link: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/scotreferendum
We all recognise that education is key to improving the life chances of our young people. At the end of the last parliamentary session, in the Green Paper Building a Smarter Future, The Scottish Government set out a range of options for the future of Scotland’s universities. If there is to be true transformational change across the post-16 education landscape, then we must look at colleges, universities, skills and training as a whole. The operation of these sectors together, for learners, is the key to unlocking the potential of our people for their benefit and for that of our economy.
The Scottish Government has now brought forward detailed proposals for a reform programme for the whole of post-16 education in Scotland in the pre-legislative paper Putting Learners at the Centre: delivering our ambitions for post-16 Education.
The proposals are focused on:
• creating better life chances for all young people;
• better aligning outcomes with the Scottish Government’s Purpose, specifically the Government’s ambitions for jobs and growth; and
• creating a more sustainable approach to funding post-16 education.
These three fundamental drivers give rise to proposals for improved access and progression, the alignment of skills and training with jobs and growth, the support of research and ways to make study more affordable.
The paper sets out proposals for wide-ranging reform of the full range of Government-funded post-16 education in Scotland – higher education, further education and skills. In the light of the consultation on Building a Smarter Scotland, they have already discussed many of the issues facing higher education and outlined their aim to deliver a sustainable future for the sector.
This paper has drawn on the analysis of the responses to that consultation to set out more definite proposals for HE and The Scottish Government are now seeking views on how these may best be implemented.
On further education and skills the paper builds on the recently published ‘Willy Roe’ Review of vocational training and the Skills Strategy. If you are part of this landscape or simply have an interest, I urge you to read through the proposals and put your thoughts to Government.
You can access the consultation here: Putting Learners at the Centre – Delivering our Ambitions for Post-16 Education
The “Student Fees (Specification) (Scotland) Order 2011”
The Scottish Government has published proposals for secondary legislation to change the way in which higher education tuition fees are applied to students who normally live in another part of the UK outside Scotland (RUK). This will be achieved through legislative changes made by secondary legislation and an associated condition attached to any grant paid by the Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) in terms of section 9 of the 2005 Act.
The future policy on higher education tuition fees for students who are domiciled in another part of the UK outwith Scotland (referred to as ” RUK-domiciled students”) who attend Scottish universities will be determined by the Scottish Government, following consideration of responses to the consultation process on both the policy proposals and this interim EQIA.