7 October 2015

Stevenson Highlights Work to Recruit Teachers in the North East

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, questioned Education Secretary Angela Constance today (Wednesday) on what the Scottish Government is doing to address teacher shortage in the North East and how local recruitment is being supported.

At Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament Mr Stevenson asked:

“Does the Cabinet Secretary agree that it is important to local communities that young people in particular, who may have had to study elsewhere, can find employment in their home area? In this context what is the Scottish Government doing to encourage routes into teaching for people, especially the young, who live in the North East?”

Ms Constance agreed that young people and those who are newly trained should be encouraged to stay within their communities in the North East.

She added:

“The Scottish Government is committed to working with local authorities and universities to develop routes into teaching that enable people to remain within their local area.

“This is why we have increased the number of student places for initial teacher education across Scotland – but especially at the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and the West of Scotland. We have also brought the University of the Highlands and Islands on stream as an initial teacher education provider.”

Ms Constance attended the Teacher Summit last week in Aberdeen to discuss the problem of teacher recruitment.

She said:

“Aberdeenshire is one of the local authorities to have benefitted from Scottish Government funding to the University of Aberdeen to develop the part time distance learning PGDE course – so that partner local authorities can develop existing staff as primary teachers on a part time basis - while continuing in their employment.”

Ms Constance added that this innovation had been widely welcomed by local authorities and that she was looking into extending this to the secondary sector.

30 September 2015

Stevenson Welcomes High Uptake of Heating Scheme in the North East

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed the high uptake of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme in the North East and across Scotland.

There have been 7,640 renewable heating systems installed across Scotland since the financial incentive scheme was introduced in April 2014 – including 1,029 in North East Scotland.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to renewable heating systems can help reduce carbon emissions and heating costs for households.

Mr Stevenson met with representatives from Ofgem E Serve, the energy regulator’s delivery arm, which administers the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He was pleased to learn that Scotland is at the forefront of uptake across Great Britain, with 1.4 applications per 1000 people in Scotland compared to the GB average of 0.6.

In Aberdeenshire, households have installed 204 Air Source Heat Pumps, 210 Biomass Boilers, 88 Ground Source Heat Pumps and 87 solar thermal systems.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I am pleased that so many of my constituents have accessed the Domestic RHI scheme. The scheme will especially benefit those who aren’t on the gas grid as they are likely to save money on their energy bills.

“I would encourage anyone in Aberdeenshire and across the North East who has not looked into the Domestic RHI scheme to go to Ofgem’s E Serve website at for more information.”

29 September 2015

Stevenson Wears it Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness 2015

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has shown his support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging his constituents to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser wear it pink on Friday 23rd October.

Wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

Mr Stevenson joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Holyrood to encourage people across Scotland to get involved.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Breast cancer is at a tipping point right now. Every year in Scotland around 4600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 1000 people still lose their lives to the disease. This is why we all must come together to support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in wear it pink, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

“Together, we can make a big difference for women with breast cancer, now and in the future. I hope everyone in my local community will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

Now in its 14th year, ‘wear it pink’ raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer. Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

Launched in June 2015 with the ambition of ensuring that no one dies from the disease by 2050, Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
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