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Inclusion Ambassadors share experiences of school after lockdown

The impact of school closures on exams, ongoing issues around teacher support and continued concerns about the spread of Covid-19 are key issues raised by young people in a recent meeting discussing their experiences of returning to school after lockdown.

Asked about their return to education, the Inclusion Ambassadors presented a mixed picture of their success at settling back into school life.

Some spoke highly of schools trying to maintain normality, and attempts of teachers to ensure no pupil was left behind. However, many highlighted that restrictions now placed on schools and teachers were having a negative impact on interactions and pupil support, with high levels of teacher absence meaning a lack of consistent, appropriate support.

Elaine Kerridge, Children in Scotland’s Policy Manager (Participation), who manages the Inclusion Ambassadors project said:

“We wanted to get a sense of how the young people felt things were going with their return to school, especially with some still operating under a number of significant restrictions.

“Although some complimented the attempt to maintain a semblance of normality and efforts to ‘check-in’, we were disappointed to hear that many felt they were getting less support now than they were prior to March.

“We have consistently called for targeted and tailored support for children and young people who require additional support for learning. This is the call our young people are also making. It cannot become a casualty of Covid. The future of our young people cannot be compromised any further.”

The Inclusion Ambassadors reiterated their call for teachers to listen to the support they need, and to acknowledge a heavy-reliance on digital or remote learning could often be problematic for those who require additional support for learning.

The Inclusion Ambassadors are a group of secondary-school aged pupils with a variety of additional support needs. They attend a range of education provision across Scotland, most in mainstream schools.

The group of youngsters shared their experienced and voiced their concerns at a December meeting, run by Children in Scotland.

Find out more about the Inclusion Ambassadors project group

Reach

Designed to help young people understand children's rights in Scottish schools.

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My Rights, My Say

Supporting young people aged 12-15 to exercise their rights to be included in decision-making relating to school

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Enquire

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

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Participation and engagement

We undertake a wide range of projects to achieve our vision that all children have an equal chance to flourish.

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Sally Cavers writes about the impact of lockdown on children with additional support needs

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