Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Monday, 26 November 2012

Portfolio question time - 28 November 2012

MSPs questioned Education Secretary Michael Russell and Learning Minister Alasdair Allan during portfolio question time on 28 November 2012.

Issues that arose included how college reforms will impact on adults with learning difficulties, how the opportunities for all policy is being implemented in the west of Scotland, what funding has been allocated for colleges for 2013-14 and 2014-15, what guidance the Scottish government provides to local authorities to deliver safe transport routes to schools and whether all secondary schools have decided how many subjects pupils will be able to study in secondary 4 and at what stage they will choose these subjects.

In reply to the question about how college reforms would impact on adults with learning difficulties Education Secretary Michael Russell said "When college is the right choice of learning for students with learning difficulties, our reforms will place greater emphasis on equipping them with the skills that they need for life and work.

"We will engage with groups representing the interests of those learners to ensure that we make progress".

In reply to the question about college funding for 2013-14 and 2014-15 Mr Russell said "As the member will be aware, the funding allocated for colleges for 2013-14 and for 2014-15 is set out in the relevant Scottish Government spending review and budget documents".

In response the question about safe transport routes to school Learning Minister Alasdair Allan said "The Scottish government provides funding to Sustrans to work with schools and local authorities to encourage schools to develop travel plans for their pupils and teachers and to identify safe routes in their areas.

"In addition, in 2010 Transport Scotland funded the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to produce a guide to improving school travel safety.

"The TRL is currently undertaking a review of the use of the school travel guide and will report its findings in early 2013".

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