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Hi, everyone.

Welcome back to today's lesson.

We're looking at where does power reside? And this is lesson two in our a scheme, how does devolved government operate withinside the United Kingdom? Now, it's really important if we look back at the years 2020, and we can really see how devolved administrations have applied their powers to their respective countries.

And throughout today's lesson we're really going to delve into what powers they hold, what restrictions they have, and what does the future hold for any devolved administrations we have in the United Kingdom.

Now, in order to access today's lesson you are going to need the following pieces of resource.

You are going to need a pen or a pencil.

And if you have got some highlighters, you can use those, but do not feel that they are necessary.

And you're also going to need some paper to write on.

Most important part of today's lesson is to make sure that you're around, in that quiet working space, and that you are free from all distractions.

I'm going to give you a moment now, so feel free to pause the video where you grab that space.

You grab those resources.

And once you are done, please hit resume, and we can conclude and start where does power resides, and how does devolved government operate within the United Kingdom? So as mentioned, previously, we are on lesson two.

Mr. Misco has talked you through lesson one with how local democracy is different to national government.

Today, we're going to look at those national governments in respect of devolution and how that operates within the United Kingdom.

Our focus for today, then to break that down, we're going to focus on this term devolution and look at what that means for UK and its governance.

We'll then going to look at what laws can be made by these devolved powers and whether or not there are any restrictions on what they can or cannot do.

Before we arrive at the conclusion of today's lesson, what does the future hold for devolved powers? And we will look at what possibilities are in store for those.

As a little bit of a recap then, we will look back at this democracy tree.

And we're going to focus on the top left hand corner of this box, the national parts.

So when we're looking at devolution, we're talking about four main bodies.

We're looking at the UK Parliament, the National Assembly of Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the Scottish Parliament.

And it's really important to look at how we work together, but also how the devolved administrations, that of Wales, Ireland- Northern Ireland, and Scotland look at and use their powers.

As a recap, we're going to look at what does the word government mean? And we can classify government by means which people are grouped together.

And they divide up their authority and power in order to achieve goals.

Now, with goals, we're going to change this to policies, and we're going to look at how these policies seek to improve life for groups of people in society by running services.

So a little bit of a recap in terms of our unit, where does power reside.

So what I want us to do is, again, just to recap our knowledge and consolidate our learning, what does the government do? And what does government mean? And I want you to make a list of goals that governments may look to achieve in order to improve life for groups of people.

So think about how the government seeks to improve life for young people, older people, and the environment, maybe through services that they run or by policies they put in place.

Give the video a quick pause now.

And then once you're completed with that list, hit resume and we will go through some feedback.

So in terms of governments, then we've said that they can create policies and often run services.

So one of the biggest service that we have in the UK is the National Health Service, the NHS.

And with the NHS we are looking there to keep the population healthy, and to make sure that citizens are safe and protected.

We also run other services throughout the country in making sure that people are educated and making sure that the environment is improved by recycling.

And we're looking there to improve the life of us in society.

So our main body of today, our first lesson objective, is to look out what is meant by this term devolution.


So it's really important that we get a really sort of conclusive definition of what we mean like this, so that you can apply it going forward.

In order to do that we're going to break it down.

And first of all, there's a little short task.

I want you to make a list of as many words as you can that begin with the prefix 'D-E', so de.

And then I want you to look at, after you've made those lists, what do all of those words have in common? So what are they all doing? Okay, so you might have five or six words that all begin with the prefix D-E.

And then what are you looking at? What do they all have in common? Then I'm going to bridge that together.

If you look at what the word evolve means, what do you think the word then devolve means? And what I'd like you to do is, now just make sure that you put down your own definition of what you think devolve means or devolution.

So you can just start that off with I think that the word devolution means, what? So there's a couple of little tasks to do there.

Give the video a quick pause, complete those tasks, and then come back to me once you have.


When I was looking at this I came up with three words, decrease, descend, and detach.

Decreasing, make or become smaller or fewer in size.

Descend, moving or falling downwards.

And detach, leave or separate oneself from a group or a place.

So together, if we look at what those words have in common, it's all about making something smaller, reducing in size, or separating ourselves.

So what I'd like you to do now is can you take down the following definition of devolve.

And devolve or devolution can be defined as follows.

It's the transfer or the delegation of power to a lower level, especially from a central government to a local or regional administration.

So that power, that delegation of power, to a lower level.

So it must come from a higher level.

Okay? And we're going to look at how that has happened.

And what's been brought about from the United Kingdom government, and how the devolved administrations have got the power in which they currently have.

So how has devolution affected the United Kingdom at a national level? What I want to do is go through a period, a timeline, and feel free to make notes because knowing which stage and the key events of devolution is really important for you to take forward and away from today's lesson.

So really it all begins in 1997, and referendums are held in Scotland and Wales for devolution of power, and the setting up of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

Now a referendum is that public voice.

Okay? Parliament put it to the people, and they simply thought on do they want it or not? A yes or a no.

So in 1997, devolution starts.

Scottish Parliament is set up alongside the Welsh Assembly.

A year later there is another referendum, and this time it's for a regional level.

And this time it's for London to have a directly elected mayor and further devolve powers.

Also in 1998, as part of the Good Friday Agreement, we now have power sharing in Northern Ireland.

And that Good Friday Agreement was sought to bring about an end to troubles that would divide Ireland as a country, both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

So by 1998, we have a Scottish Parliament, we have a Welsh Assembly, and we have the Northern Ireland Assembly, also.

So we've got to look at how these powers are then shared.

Now it's another 14 years before something major happens, and this time we have the Scotland Act of 2012.

And this further gives Scottish Parliament more powers in respect of devolved powers from the main administration in the UK Parliament.

As a result of this, two years later, we have in 2014 another referendum, this time for Scotland to look at independence from the rest of the UK.

So that was granted by the UK Parliament, and allowed Scotland to vote, to have that referendum on whether or not they wanted to be completely independent from the United Kingdom.

And that vote was rejected by Scotland.

Okay? So although they have devolved powers, they wanted complete devolved powers, but ultimately the country voted that they wanted to remain part of the UK and continue those devolved powers rather than having separate powers.

Two years later, we have another referendum.

Another vote, this time on the subject of leaving the European Union.

This time the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and this then became known as the Brexit.

So this is us having devolved powers from Europe.

But now as a result of Brexit, we are looking to have our own independence.

Then in 2020, on the 31st of January, the deal for the, oh sorry, the date for the Brexit agreement was June.

And this now means that the European Union now have no governance of the United Kingdom.

Now as the time arrived in this, the future new relationship is still being negotiated.

So what will come of this deal, or potential agreement, with European Union now that we've left, is still unknown at this point.

But we need to start thinking about what a deal could look like.

And one of our tasks to look at is what is left for us as devolved powers? And what powers might we get, and what deals might we have? So that's a brief history of the timeline of devolution.

And when we look at devolution as a floor diagram, you can see that the UK Parliament holds the most power.

They are at the top of the food chain, and they give power to regional areas, For instance, London.

They also give devolved powers to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, who then in turn give those powers to local councils in the respective areas.

Just to give a little bit more information about how Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales go about their powers in their devolved administrations.

We're going to complete end of the task.

So you are going to need the worksheet that is attached to this lesson with the grid of the UK Parliament, the Welsh Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

So some facts about the devolved administrations then, so the UK has created a national Parliament in Scotland, a Welsh parliament, also known as the Senedd Cymru, and a national Assembly in Northern Ireland.

And this allows us to transfer levels of power from UK Parliament to the other nations in the UK.

But ultimately, and one of the key things to stress here, is that authority has been kept with UK Parliament on the whole.

So what I'd like you to do is, using the resource that's attached, you are going to have to do some reading here in relation to all four powers.

And what I want you to do is populate this following table.

So I want to know where they are in terms of location.

How many seats are there in each respective Parliaments? Do they have full power or devolved power? And what issues can they legislate on? So what I want you to do now is pause the video to complete the worksheet and also read the information.

And once you are done there, we will go through some feedback in respect of your answers.

Okay? So you should have the following pieces of information that the UK parliament is based in Westminster in London, the Welsh Parliament, also known as Senedd Cymaru, is based in Cardiff.

The Scottish Parliament is often referred to as Holyrood, which is based in Edinburgh.

And the Northern Ireland Assembly is based Pontormo which is in Belfast.

Now the big difference team, here, see in terms of seat allocations.

So as a UK parliament, we have 650 constituencies, 650 different MP's taking those seats.

In Wales they only have 60.

In the Scottish Parliament, there are 129.

And then the Northern Ireland Assembly, there are 90.

Now the biggest thing that you can see here, in terms of full power or devolved power, is that the UK Parliament has full power, where the other three respective authorities have devolved power.

So we need to then look at what they can legislate.

In terms of the UK Parliament, the UK parliament is free to legislate on everything, except on devolved matters where consent is required.

So we can legislate everything unless it's a devolved matter in Wales, in Scotland or in Northern Ireland in which we then need consent from the relevant Parliament or Assembly.

If we then focus on the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd Cymru, there are 20 different areas that cover local services, including, but not limited to education and training, fire and rescue, health services, highways and transport, housing, the local government, and the inclusion of the Welsh Language.

If we then look at Scotland, they have similar sort of issues, but the inclusion of health and social work, justice and policing, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

Again, if we then look at Northern Ireland, it's the similar sort of thing to the other devolved powers.

But the main thing that you need to take away from here is that they have devolved powers.

They don't have complete, complete total power.

That is resolved and stays with the UK Parliament.

And to put that into perspective, we can then look at these two key words which I'd like you to take down and make note of.

There are something called devolved powers, so decisions that parliament controlled in the past but now taken by separate bodies.

So the Scottish Parliament will legislate on matters, i.


education or the health service.

Whereas reserved powers have to be taken by Westminster.

And an example of reserve powers could be that there is a matter of defence in the UK as a whole, or with any sort of foreign policy.

So the decision to put together the European Union withdrawal, the Brexit agreement, was a complete full power.

It wasn't a devolved power.

Some of the devolved administrations might have had different opinions, but the decision was taken on the whole because that was a reserve power in terms of foreign policy.

What I wanted then to do, is then to conceptualise that information.

And I want to think about what are the advantages and disadvantages of having these devolved powers? So I want you to think about the powers that local areas might have.

Do they have complete control? What about how quickly decisions can be made? Is it effective? Is it likely that the decisions are made quicker because they're made, are being made by local people.

But also then look at what are the limitations of power? Can they do everything? Do the devolved governments have absolute power? And then start thinking about how much does that cost? So you can draw this as some bullet points.

You can do this as a mind map.

You can do this as a table.

It's completely up to you how you present this information, but what I want you to do is pause the video now to complete that task.

And once you are done, resume the video, and then we'll go through some feedback.

Okay then.

These are not an exhaustive list, but some of the advantages that I came up with was that devolution makes it possible for decisions to be taken at a more appropriate level.

For example, if we've got an issue of agriculture, that can be taken specific to Scotland, or to England, and it's better that local people make those local decisions to benefit the local people.

Another advantage might be that it's unlikely that ministers and civil servants based in England have good knowledge of local issues.

So those reserved for local politicians.

So Welsh politician is going to know their town better than somebody who sat in Westminster.

Also, as we've seen in the Welsh Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly, devolution allows cultural identity and national feeling to be part of that area.

So for instance, the use of the Welsh language allows people in Wales to have that cultural identity made by their local MP's.

If we then flip it over to the disadvantages then, it comes at a cost.

So we've had to build new Parliament buildings in both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

We've then got a situation where if we can't agree on matters, there may become conflict.

And this then causes friction between the UK government and other devolved administrations.

And then the organisation of government and decision-making is more complicated because some members have devolved and others are reserved.

So if there was some friction between the Brexit opinion, that's then going to cause complicated matters between Scotland and with England, or the UK Parliament itself.

What we need to do then is take all of the information that we've just talked about and wanting to look at how that applies in 2020.

So in the current day, how does devolution matter? And why does devolution matter? And how is it evident? So throughout 2020 what we have seen is that the Coronavirus pandemic has allowed de-evolution to become very clear.

And the devolved administrations use their power to help and benefit their respective countries.

And they do that in relation to the COVID 19 crisis.

And the development ministrations have taken some different approaches for dealing public health.

So for instance, in terms of the health service, the Prime Minister has worked with national leaders in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to ensure that there is consistency where possible.

An example of this could be the arrangements made for Christmas 2020, in that Parliaments have came together, the administrations have came together, and the leaders of those respective parliaments have came together to make sure that where possible we can be consistent and have the same message.

However, where that's then different, national leaders take matters into their own hands.

For example, in education, the cancellation or the delay of examinations for the 2021 examination period in the summer, some devolved administrations have taken a localised approach.

Whereas the UK Parliament has retained their ultimate approach for what they see as best for their population.

For a final time then what I want to do is looking at this final task.

And I want to look at how could devolved powers react to Coronavirus pandemic in terms of their powers.

So I want to look at the table from the previous task, and looking at what they can or cannot do, and how could they or how are they approaching issues under their control? So using your own knowledge currently of what's going on, make a list on how devolved powers can react to the coronavirus pandemic.

What can they do? Are they limited? Are they reserved powers or are they devolved powers? Are they able to legislate on specific matters? So if you need any help for this task, stay with me.

If not, please press pause now to complete this task and press resume once you're finished.

For those of you that are in need of some support, press ready for pause.

And I will show you my model paragraph for the situation.

So I said that one way in which devolution has been evident during the Coronavirus pandemic is the devolved administrations making decisions with regards to education matters.

As these decisions fall under the legislative powers, they can amend matters of education, where they see fit.

For example, both Scotland and Wales have announced that they are postponing exams for the summer of 2021.

Whereas the UK Parliament has said that exams for peoples in England will go ahead as normal for 2021.

So you might have some more examples in terms of health, in terms of arrangements for Christmas, or what might they do going forward.

And that is the end of today's lesson.

We've looked at how does devolved government operate within the United Kingdom and where does power reside? Now I really want to see some of the work that you've been doing today because that is really high level stuff.

What I'd like you to, if you'd like to share your work, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

And you can share that work using the tag @OakNational and using the hashtag learn with Oak.

One thing I have to do before that we finish today's lesson is to remind you to complete the exit quiz, which is attached to this lesson.

Just to make sure that you've got all of the key terms down, and to make sure that you've got your knowledge secure.

You will see me again later on in this unit of work, but until then, thank you so much for your participation today.

And I really look forward to seeing some of your brilliant work on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.