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Heads & Tails! Match the following. Lesson Starter. Today we will…. Identify the different role of an MSP in the parliament. Recall how to answer a Knowledge question for the National Qualifications. Success Criteria. I can list and explain the role of an MSP in the parliament.

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today we will
Today we will…
  • Identify the different role of an MSP in the parliament.
  • Recall how to answer a Knowledge question for the National Qualifications.
success criteria
Success Criteria
  • I can list and explain the role of an MSP in the parliament.
  • I can produce a model answer using the structure for a Knowledge question about the role of an MSP
the work of an msp in parliament
The Work of an MSP in Parliament

Task: create a table showing the work of an MSP.

first minister s question time
First Minister’s Question Time
  • Leaders of the other parties, and some ‘ordinary’ MSPs have the opportunity to question the First Minister at First Ministers Question Time. This happens once per week on Thursdays normally starting at 12 noon and can last for around 30 minutes.
  • Opposing parties can use this as an opportunity to expose the shortcomings of the governing party.
  • Scrutinise the work of the government.

John Mason, SNP, Glasgow Shettleston

first minister s questions
First Minister’s Questions
  • As you watch, take notes of any interesting questions.
  • How does the First Minister respond?
example questions
Example Questions


According to figures provided by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service on 4 September 2012 there have been 24 convictions from the 28 cases that have come to court so far. The act came into force on 1 March 2012 and of the cases completed 85.7% have resulted in a conviction.


To ask the First Minister how many convictions have been secured using the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

  • MSPs represent our views by taking part in debates in parliament. This can be debates about new legislation or about changes that MSPs want to legislation. Debates take place in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish parliament (see front cover), on Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays.
  • MSPs debated the Alcohol (minimum pricing) Bill in March 2012. Plans for a minimum unit price for alcohol have been approved in principle by the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish government\'s alcohol bill passed its first major parliamentary hurdle without opposition.
  • After a debate at Holyrood, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats supported the legislation, while Labour abstained.
  • A first attempt by the SNP to introduce such a bill was defeated in the last parliament
think pair share
Think, Pair, Share

On your own, think about following quote. What does she mean?

‘The link between price and consumption, and between consumption and harm, is irrefutable” – Nicola Sturgeon

Share your ideas with your shoulder partner.

Social Target: Taking Turns

Academic Target: To discuss ideas

  • MSPs take part in ‘decision time’. This is when they must vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ new laws that have been proposed or amendments. Each MSP has an electronic keypad on their table in the debating chamber and they simply press a button to vote. The results are often gathered within minutes.
  • Example: voting on issues such as free prescriptions, minimum pricing on alcohol, offensive behaviour at football. MSPs vote with the interests of their constituents in mind
  • Committees are sometimes referred to as the ‘powerhouse’ of Parliament. In other words, some people say this is where much of parliament’s work is completed.
  • Committees meet every Tuesday and Wednesday morning and normally have between 5 – 15 MSPs.
  • Committees take time to scrutinise legislation being discussed in parliament.
  • Committees can hear evidence from experts and ask Government ministers questions. Committees will have a particular subject that they focus on i.e. Health.
example of committee work
Example of Committee Work

The Health and Sport Committee is currently holding an inquiry into teenage pregnancy in Scotland. The remit of the inquiry is to:

a) assess whether the action being taken in Scotland is sufficient to bring about real and sustained reductions in unplanned teenage pregnancy.

b) to explore with witnesses what further action may be required to ensure that those young people at risk of pregnancy at a young age, or who have a baby when they are very young, are able to gain access to appropriate support and services.

Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow, serves on Health and Sport Committee in the Scottish Parliament.

justice committee work
Justice Committee Work

Before the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was passed, the Justice Committee investigated the proposed law. Committees will often ask in experts to give evidence on the bill. They want to gather as much evidence as they can.

members bills
Members’ Bills

Each MSP is entitled to introduce 2 bills in each parliamentary year. Around 10% of bills passed are members’ bills.

Watch this example:

Bill: If passed, a bill will become a law.



MSPs can represent their constituents in the Scottish Parliament in a number of ways. Describe, in detail, four ways MSPs can represent their constituents in the Scottish Parliament. (8 Marks)


Key Structure


Make your POINT.

EXPLAIN your point.

Give an EXAMPLE to back up your point (or ELABORATE further on your point)

PEE X2 (4 marks)

PEE X3 (6 marks)

PEE X4 (8 marks)

was i successful
Was I successful?
  • I can list and explain the role of an MSP in the parliament.
  • I can produce a model answer using the structure for a Knowledge question about the role of an MSP