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Summary

  1. Education Secretary John Swinney is quizzed by MSPs over education reforms
  2. Ministers answer questions on finance and the constitution; and then economy, jobs and fair work
  3. Mr Swinney gives a ministerial statement on the controversial testing of P1 pupils
  4. The programme for government debate continues
  5. SNP MSP Keith Brown leads a debate on sport of the University of Stirling

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Wednesday 5 September 2018.

    Education Secretary John Swinney insisted the government is "committed" to assessments for P1 pupils despite fresh opposition calls to scrap them.

    The tests were introduced a year ago in a bid to collect more data on pupils to help inform teachers about progress.

    John Swinney told MSPs that he was committed to the tests "at all stages"
    Image caption: John Swinney told MSPs that he was committed to the tests "at all stages"

    All of Holyrood's opposition parties oppose tests for the youngest pupils, and want to put this to a vote.

    But Mr Swinney said the tests were "vital" in making sure issues pupils might have were addressed "pronto".

    Join us here at 9.30am tomorrow morning when the Scottish secretary will be giving evidence on Brexit. Again. This time on the EU Withdrawal Act.

  2. Background: Team Scotland Commonwealth Games heroes return

    Swimmer Duncan Scott

    Team Scotland were given a heroes' welcome as they touched down on home soil after their most successful away games ever in April.

    Scotland finished Gold Coast 2018 with a total of 44 medals - the nation's second highest tally in Commonwealth Games history.

    The return flight from the Gold Coast carried the extra weight of nine gold medals, 13 silver and 22 bronze.

    Scotland's medal haul was just nine short of the record 53 won on home soil at Glasgow 2014, and left them eighth in the final Gold Coast medals table.

    Read more.

  3. Sports minister congratulates Scottish Women's football team

    Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick
    Image caption: Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick

    Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick congratulates the Scottish Women's football team for qualifying to the World Cup.

    He reveals to the chamber his former life as part of a swim team, reflecting on many happy memories in training!

    The minister praises Stirling University for combining academic success in sport with support for athletes.

    He welcomes the university being named as one of the UK's two national academies for tennis, to be formally opened in September 2019.

  4. Background: Special Olympics: 'It's everything to be part of these games'

    Special Olympics GB

    The Special Olympics' 40th Anniversary Games in Stirling, held last month, helps athletes feel "part of the community", the competition's organiser said.

    More than 1,200 with intellectual (learning) difficulties from the UK and Europe were in Scotland to compete.

    Laura Smith from Special Olympics Scotland told BBC Scotland it is not just about the sport.

    "It's also about bringing people together, meeting new friends and sharing their experiences."

    Read more here.

  5. Green MSP says benefit of Stirling's sporting prowess goes beyond the campus

    Green MSP Mark Ruskel
    Image caption: Green MSP Mark Ruskel

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell says he has had a perpetual lump in his throat as the medal tally for University of Stirling students rises.

    Mr Ruskell argues Stirling's lead on sport has benefited the whole community beyond the campus.

  6. Background: Stirling University chosen for national tennis academy

    Brothers Jamie and Andy Murray

    Stirling University aims to provide "a pathway for champions" after being confirmed as one of two national academies for tennis.

    Loughborough University was also selected by the Lawn Tennis Association, with the facilities due to open in September 2019.

    Programmes will primarily focus on 13 to 18-year-olds.

    "Players win Championships but systems enable players to win consistently," said Blane Dodds of Tennis Scotland.

    Read more here.

  7. Watching Scottish athletes inspires young people says Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley
    Image caption: Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley praises the training and support given to athletes by the University of Stirling.

    He speaks about how seeing local athletes can inspire youngsters to get involve in sport, particularly important given physical activity is falling.

  8. Background: £20m Stirling University sporting complex given green light

    Complex plans

    Plans for a £20m transformation of sports facilities at Stirling University was approved by councillors in June.

    The redevelopment will include the creation of a new sporting complex at Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence.

    The new building will include purpose-built studios, a fitness suite, three-court sports hall, and an indoor cycling studio.

    It is expected to open by summer 2020.

    Read more here.

  9. Tory MSP highlights why Stirling University is so important to Scottish support

    Tory MSP Brian Whittle
    Image caption: Tory MSP Brian Whittle

    Tory MSP Brian Whittle highlights why Stirling University is so important to Scottish support.

    Mr Whittle says the sporting facility there allows the Scottish talent to remain with their own coaches and family, rather than having to go to an American college or Loughborough University.

  10. SNP MSP praises Scotland Women's football team on World Cup qualification

    Video content

    This content is currently not available

    Mr Brown says: "We should acknowledge, of course, the fantastic achievement of the Sotland Women's football team."

    A jubilant Scotland celebrated wildly as they clinched their first place at a Women's World Cup finals with a dramatic victory over Albania.

    Knowing they had to better the result of Group 2 leaders Switzerland to qualify automatically, Scotland's nerves were shredded as Shelley Kerr's side clung to a 2-1 lead while the Swiss pushed for a winning goal against Poland.

    When the match ended goalless in Poland, Kerr's side had just seconds to hold on before the referee's whistle signalled an outpouring of emotion on the pitch.

    Read more here.

  11. Sterling performance by Stirling university highlighted

    SNP MSP Keith Brown
    Image caption: SNP MSP Keith Brown

    SNP MSP Keith Brown highlights the University of Stirling actually falls in his own constituency of Clackmannanshire and Dunblane rather than his colleague Bruce Crawford's, who represents Stirling, despite Mr Crawford often speaking about it!

    Stirling has produce leading athletes across a wide range of sports says Mr Brown, going on to list several.

    He says the Gold Coast Games saw Stirling uni have its greatest success to date with 11 medals being claimed by students and alumnum.

    The MSP highlights a £20m refurb of sporting facilities at the uni currently underway, which will not only support elite athletes but also the wider community.

  12. Here is the motion...

    Stirling University alumni and alumnae
    Image caption: Stirling University alumni and alumnae are welcomed by Keith Brown

    SNP MSP Keith Brown's motion:

    • highlights the designation of the University of Stirling as a University for Sporting Excellence in 2008
    • praises the success of students and alumni at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics
    • welcomes the establishment of a tennis academy and planned improvements to sports facilities
    Motion text
  13. Members' debate celebrating Stirling University's sporting prowess begins

    Planned sports facilities at Stirling uni

    SNP MSP Keith Brown is now leading a debate titled 'University of Stirling, 10 Years as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence'.

  14. Change to Easter recess dates agreed to......

    Motion on recess dates

    Labour MSP Elaine Smith asks if the change in Easter recess dates being proposed is due to Brexit and says there has been no discussion of this.

    The dates will now coincide with the English and Edinburgh school holidays, but not the majority of Scottish schools.

    Graeme Dey says the changes reflect the huge impact of Brexit and that is why the parliamentary business bureau took the decision now to give ample notice.

    MSPs unanimously agree to the change.

  15. Minister argues argues number of bills passed is not best judge of government performance

    Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Secretary Michael Matheson
    Image caption: Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Secretary Michael Matheson

    Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Secretary Michael Matheson explains there is a variety of reasons for the different pace bills pass through parliament.

    Mr Matheson argues the number of bills passed is not the best way to judge a Scottish government.

    He argues a key part of the programme for government is to ensure inclusive growth is part of the economic drive.

    The Scottish government is setting out a national infrastructure mission with £7bn of investment by 2025/2026, he reiterates.

    Mr Matheson insists this record investment is at the heart of the programme for government.

  16. 'Public service failures go hand in hand with economic stagnation'

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay
    Image caption: Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says many of his constituents are failing to get by and feel powerless.

    "Public service failures go hand in hand with economic stagnation," he states.

    He details various pledges made by his party on the economy, including backing a national investment bank with £20bn and creating a national infrastructure fund of £20bn.

    The Labour MSP reiterates his party's stance that independence would lead to more cuts to services.

    On the tourist tax, he argues it should be up to councils to decide on whether to implement one.

  17. Background: A Brexit-free guide to the new term at Holyrood

    Philip Sim

    BBC Scotland political reporter

    Chamber

    Brexit continues to dominate the political agenda, but what else will politicians have in their in-trays as they settle back in after the summer recess?

    No, there won't be any getting away from it. You can't move six inches in politics without tripping over Brexit.

    There's every chance that within the month, the wheels will have fallen off the political clown car and we'll be staring down the barrel of a snap general election or another referendum.

    But until the next seemingly inevitable crisis, Scotland's politicians have plenty to be getting on with. New ministers are settling into their jobs after June's dramatic reshuffle, and legislative proposals are piling up.

    Here's a (relatively) Brexit-free guide to what MSPs will be focusing on over the next few months.

  18. Tory MSP says tourism secretary has reassured her tourism tax has been 'ditched'

    Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton
    Image caption: Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton

    Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton welcomes reassurance she has received from Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop that the tourism tax has been "ditched".

    Ms Hamilton details a letter from the government saying it was not willing to consider a tourism levy, unless the tourism and hospitality industries are involved from the outset.

    However, she says that seems to be at odds with what Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes said earlier.