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25 Calls to change children’s lives for the better

25 Calls was a campaign marking the 25th anniversary of Children in Scotland. Launched in autumn 2018 and running for 18 months until March 2020, it brought together voices from across the sector to propose how children could experience greater equality and strengthened human rights.

This took the form of 25 calls focusing on policy, practice, legislation and changes in social attitudes, published in our magazine, online and shared at an anniversary networking event in Edinburgh. We then published multiple responses to the calls from partner organisations and individuals in support of the campaign.

From summer 2020, four blogs were published as part of the '25 & Up' series, revisiting calls on the topics of family support, the role of the arts in children's lives, the impact of poverty, and the need for a strengthened children's sector workforce.

Through the campaign:

  • 93 organisations and individuals endorsed and published response blogs on our website and in our magazine
  • 70 MSPs added their names to a Holyrood motion supporting the campaign
  • Two local authorities used the 25 Calls campaign as the basis for updating their equalities policies.

Some of the calls link to and inform our policy work and our Manifesto for the 2021-26 Scottish Parliament.

Information about the campaign, media coverage, a short film from members of our children and young people's advisory group, and links to all the calls, follow-up blogs and a special edition of the magazine featuring the 25 Calls, can all be found on this page.

October 2018:

We are in a unique and exciting position as the national membership organisation for the children’s sector in Scotland, and our 25 Calls campaign is our roadmap for a future where children rights are protected.

The calls cover four themes:

Strengthening rights and participation

Supporting children, families and communities

Challenging inequalities

Improving education, skills and learning experiences

Researching and creating the campaign calls, we spoke to people who work with children every day, researchers into children’s development, charities who stand up for children’s rights, schools and nurseries, parents and carers, and children and young people themselves. 

Follow #25Calls on social media, join our network and check this page to be kept updated on the calls, reactions to them, and the ongoing conversation about the campaign.

Read responses to the Calls

25 Calls is an ongoing campaign and we want it to include diverse voices from across Scotland.

Since the start of December 2018 we've been publishing responses to the Calls and these continued throughout 2019.

You'll find responses prefixed '25 Calls response' in our blogs section here:

Read 25 Calls responses

Read news articles and other coverage of the campaign

Watch our campaign video

Our call-makers include:

  • Sustrans Scotland
  • Parenting across Scotland
  • Poverty Alliance
  • respectme
  • Community Justice Scotland
  • Independent Care Review in Scotland
  • Common Weal
  • Scottish Autism
  • Architecture & Design Scotland
magazine cover image

Special edition of our magazine

In the latest edition of our magazine, the 25 Calls campaign takes centre-stage, with articles from each of our 25 call-makers published in full.

Children in Scotland members can access the magazine by logging in to the members' section of the website.

If you are not a member, but would like to order hard copies of the magazine, you can do so here.

25 Calls: Children in Scotland magazine

A route-map to a better future

Download our route-map to a better future for children and young people in Scotland.

The map includes all 25 Calls by theme, and highlights the possible delays and barriers those travelling from stop-to-stop may encounter.

25 Calls: A route map to a better future

The calls, collected

The October 2018 edition of our magazine was a special edition featuring the 25 Calls

Click to read

Responses to the calls

Voices from across Scotland supported the campaign. Look for blogs prefixed with '25 Calls' from Dec 2018-March 2020

Click to read blogs

Call 1

Change the language of poverty: Young people deserve dignity, not stigma and discrimination

Read the full call

Call 2

Make it your business to tackle child poverty

Read the full call

Call 4

To end abuse and neglect, live what we know: it’s everyone’s job to make sure children are alright

Read the full call

Call 6

Rights, wellbeing and love of learning must be at the heart of education if Scotland is truly to be the 'best place to grow up'

Read the full call

Call 8

Reform the Gender Recognition Act and give trans young people the chance to live full, happy lives

Read the call in full

Call 10

It's time to agree a common set of values in the digital world

Read the call in full

Call 12

"Support pupils and teachers: embed understanding of ASN in initial teacher training and ongoing development"

Read the call in full

Call 14

"From homelessness to the Home Office, young people's services must be humanised"

Read YCSA's call in full

Call 16

"Work together to build cultures where every voice is valued, and create a society free from bullying"

Read respectme's call in full

Call 18

"Take the next step in participation and food education: give communities the keys to school kitchens"

Read the call in full

Call 20

"Deliver a workforce that works for children: confident, skilled, values-driven." By Children in Scotland & YouthLink Scotland

Read the call in full

Call 22

"Build wellbeing into the design of our learning spaces to show young people they are truly valued"

Read A&DS' call

Call 24

"Ensure all children can participate in high quality innovative arts experiences from the earliest age"

Read Starcatchers' call

Call 3

All children and young people should have access to mental health support when needed

Read the full call

Call 5

16 and 17 year olds must be able to vote in all UK polls. Brexit proves this is a civil rights issue

Read the call in full

Call 7

Support the aims and work of the Care Review – making changes to improve care now and in future

Read the call in full

Call 9

Ensure Scotland's next generation can lead active, healthy lives

Read the call in full

Call 11

"We need an economy underpinned by sustainability, innovation and social justice"

Read the call in full

Call 13

"Support children to become human rights defenders." By the Children's Commissioner, with young campaigner Ruby

Read the call in full

Call 15

"Top up child benefit by £5 per week to loosen the grip of child poverty." By Poverty Alliance & Child Poverty Action Group

Read the call in full

Call 17

"Prioritise integration, support for families and participation to give children the best start"

Read the call in full

Call 19

"Launch a national effort to provide 'Well Teenager' clinics to help all young people who need it"

Read CJS's call in full

Call 21

"Invest in relationship-based whole-family support." By Parenting across Scotland

Read the call in full

Call 23

"Let’s make Scotland a nation of Unfearties!" By Children's Parliament and Together

Read the call in full

Call 25

"Cut cars from school drop-offs to boost active travel and improve air quality for our children"

Read Sustrans' call

25 and Up: poverty and family support

We published updates by four of our original call-makers, the first by John Dickie (6/2020)

Click to read John's blog

25 and Up: a stronger workforce

Our workforce is making progress despite the virus, argues Simon Massey

Click to read Simon's blog

25 and Up: no more injustice for families

The scaffolding is now in place to deliver on genuine family support, says Clare Simpson

Click to read Clare's blog

25 and Up: improving access to the arts

Why artists must be a central part of every child’s support network

Click to read the blog