Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Scottish Parliament

Labour education spokesman Des McNulty told MSPs on 14 January 2010 that there should be a zero tolerance policy on illiteracy in Scotland.

He called for a literacy action plan to be brought forward immediately.

The Literacy Commission recently said the number of people in Scotland struggling to read and write may be approaching one million.

It also said 13,000 children in Scotland leave primary school without being functionally literate.

Education Secretary Michael Russell welcomed the report from the Literary Commission and said the government was committed to raising the standards of literacy at every level.

MSPs voted unanimously to pass the amended motion, from Mr McNulty, at decision time.

Mr Russell's amendment, which stated that the plan could be delivered within the framework of the Curriculum for Excellence, was passed unanimously.

As was the amendment from the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Margaret Smith, which called for benefits from the literacy action plan to be felt all over Scotland.

Scottish Conservative MSP Elizabeth Smith saw her amendment fall, with 102 MSPs voting against it and 15 voting for it.

It called for the testing of literacy and numeracy skills in primary seven.

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