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Children’s rights extended as new legislation comes into force

Children aged 12-15 have had their rights extended under new additional support for learning legislation which comes into force today (Wednesday 10 January).

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 2016, children under 16 years old have many of the same rights as their parents and carers regarding additional support in education. Children aged 12 – 15 now have the opportunity to further influence decisions about their education and support, including in the identification, planning and review of their needs.

From today, once children reach their 12th birthday they will have the right to:

·       Ask their school or local authority to find out if they need extra support

·       Have a say in plans made about the support they may get

·       Advocacy in meetings to ensure their views are shared and taken into account and legal representation at Tribunals

·       Be actively involved in resolving disagreements about their support

Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning welcomes the change.

Sally Cavers, Manager of Enquire said:

“We are very supportive of the extension of rights for children.

“We know from our work with children and young people how important it is that they feel genuinely involved and listened to by the professionals supporting them and how much this can influence whether they feel school is a negative or positive experience.

“The extension of children’s rights provides an opportunity for professionals supporting children to reflect on their practice and consider whether they routinely listen to and involve children with additional support needs in the decisions that directly affect them.”

A new children's service called My Rights My Say has also been created to make sure children know about and understand their rights and are able to access advocacy and legal representation where needed. The service will be delivered by a new partnership, of Children in Scotland and Enquire, Partners in Advocacy and Cairn Legal.

The new legislation comes into force today, Wednesday 10 January.

Enquire

Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Visit the website