Scottish Government consultations


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We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

We asked for views on the Scottish Government’s proposed definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ for the purposes of section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, as amended by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. This would be provided in Local Development Planning Regulations that will overall support the implementation of the future local development plan system, a system which manages the development and use of land in the long term public interest.

We asked 7 consultation questions. These sought views on our proposed definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’, how councils can better involve the Gypsy and Traveller communities in planning consultations and processes, and the impact this (or any) definition would have in businesses and protected characteristics (to inform the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment and Equalities Impact Assessment).  We asked for responses by 15 February 2023, allowing 8 weeks for comments.

As part of this consultation, we also conducted four in-person engagement events with Travelling community members and have been considering the feedback from these events alongside the online responses.

You said

You provided us with 41 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 23 organisations and 17 individuals. Respondents included local authorities, housing services, Gypsy/Traveller representative bodies, Travelling Showpeople organisations, third sector organisations and other professional bodies, as well as communities and individuals.

Respondents were generally supportive a definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ to provide clarity on the Evidence Report consultation stage of the local development plan. Key recurring issues with our proposed definition included:

  • The need to recognise ethnic Gypsy/Travellers as a distinct category to Travelling Showpeople
  • The acknowledgement that Travellers stop travelling for various reasons that cannot be pinpointed exactly and thus cannot be listed in one definition
  • The need to ensure that the definition is not so broad that it includes non-travelling people, as the proposed definition included ‘persons who require the provision of land for temporary or permanent living’ and this is not restricted to Gypsies and Travellers

We did

We have taken account of the responses which have informed the final definition to be included in Development Planning regulations, laid in Parliament on the 24th March 2023.  

We asked

Independent advice was provided to the Scottish Government on aspects of education reform in Scotland in March 2022. We welcomed Professor Muir’s recommendation in relation to the creation of a shared framework for the inspection of early learning and childcare (ELC) and we committed to further consult the ELC and school aged childcare sector on the challenges raised regarding a dual inspection approach.

The consultation set out our vision for how inspection of ELC and school age childcare services will contribute to improving outcomes for children and families and the guiding principles that underpin that approach. It sought to gather views on the strengths of existing arrangements, where improvements can be made and on specific proposals to streamline and improve the inspection of ELC and school age childcare services through the introduction of a shared quality framework.

You said

254 responses were provided to the written consultation. Additionally, 11 events recorded comments provided by 380+ attendees. Feedback was received from a wide range of respondents, including local authorities, trade unions, ELC and school aged childcare representative and membership bodes, academic organisations, the Inspectorates, and parents/carers. The largest proportion of responses came from practitioners and childcare providers themselves.

A strong desire for change was expressed with 78% of respondents in favour of the introduction of a shared framework to be used for inspection.  The consultation responses also confirmed the following:

  • The proposed vision and principles were supported by over 90% of respondents, but could be further improved;
  • That experiences of inspection varied across the country, with 39% having mostly positive experiences, but with 21% reporting largely negative experiences of inspection.  A huge range of rich examples of both types of experience were shared with us;
  • A number of respondents voiced their support for a single inspectorate with a single approach, despite the consultation not asking questions on this;
  • There is a need to recognise and reflect the differences between types of providers and settings;
  • Views were expressed that any new framework needs to provide clarity, consistency, a common language, streamline bureaucracy, be supportive and reduce burden and stress on practitioners;
  • There needs to be more communication, collaboration and joint working, and an equally valued input and role for both Inspectorates. 80% of respondents consider that more could be done by the Inspectorates to improve coordination and cooperation between themselves and only 13% agreed that they currently worked well together. 

We did

The Scottish Government has published a comprehensive response to the consultation findings. This outlines the work we will take forward in response to a number of the issues raised. The response also includes a joint statement from the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland, which confirms their commitment to working together to develop a shared framework which will be ready to implement in 2024.

We will provide updates as this work develops.

We asked

From 1 July to 7 October 2022, the Scottish Government held a consultation on a draft plan to improve and strengthen Scotland’s equality evidence base. Alongside this consultation, the Scottish Government also undertook six engagement events.

You said

There were a total of 116 responses to the consultation, of these 29 were from individuals and 87 were from organisations, including equalities/advocacy groups, public sector and other organisations. The engagement events were attended by around 200 representatives from a range of organisations.

Overall, there was general agreement on the need for a strong equality evidence base upon which services can be designed and policy can be made. There are, however, some concerns over the robustness of much of the existing evidence due to small sample sizes, meaning that robust statistics cannot be produced for some groups from nationally representative datasets, and evidence gaps in relation to specific characteristics across a range of topics.  

We did

We commissioned a research organisation, Why Research, to carry out an independent analysis of the consultation responses and we have published the analysis report  on the Scottish Government website as an annex to our new Equality Evidence Strategy (Annex C). An easy read summary of the main findings of the analysis has also been published.

We have also published the responses, where permission has been given to do this, on Citizen Space.

We have used the views communicated to us through the consultation and the events to develop Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy 2023-2025, including the vision, principles and actions to strengthen the equality evidence base. The strategy was published on 24 March 2023.