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Children’s views central to plans to devolve more responsibility to teachers.
The review into the way schools are run is seeking direct input from those most affected by Scotland's education system – children and young people themselves.
In September, Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the start of a major governance review, with the presumption that decisions will be devolved to school level. Underlining the commitment to involve and listen to pupils, the Scottish Government is funding work to gather their perspectives.
Young Scot, in partnership with Children in Scotland and Scottish Youth Parliament, is taking forward the engagement programme, which will secure input from a diverse range of young people with different life experiences – including those from urban and rural settings, in the care system, and who have a disability.
Announcing £60,000 to support this work over the next three months, Mr Swinney met today with some of the 90 pupils taking part in the first engagement session at Broughton High School in Edinburgh. He said:
"Our review is about ensuring schools deliver the best outcomes for children and young people, with teachers empowered to make decisions about learning within schools, supported by parents and the local community.
"I've committed to listening to teachers, practitioners and partners. It's also crucial that we seek the views of children and young people – on what works well with their learning and in their schools and where improvements can be made.
"The feedback gathered by Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament will make a valuable contribution to the review process, shaping our mission to deliver excellence and equity throughout our education system."
Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said:
"Any conversation about the future of schools, education and learning needs to have children and young people at the heart. They are experts of their own experience, and it is vital they are given the opportunity to share their insight and their views about what matters so much for them today and in the future."
Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:
"We believe that children and young people have the right to influence policy and legislation that has an impact on their lives. Hearing from school pupils about how their experience of education could be improved is a key part of this and we are delighted to be partners in a project with such a strong emphasis on consultation and engagement with our young people."
Amy Lee Farioli, Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:
"Empowering children and young people to have their say in decisions that affect them is a fundamental right that all children and young people have. It is essential that they are involved in making decisions about their learning and the learning environment. We see activities like today's event as vital for shaping the positive involvement of young people as equal, meaningful partners in decisions for the future."
Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament have been awarded £61,202 to carry out engagement events with young people covering the following topics:
- Governance – what things do they think teachers should be able to do
- Equity – do they think school is fair and the same for everyone
- Empowerment – how involved are they in what happens in the school
- Community involvement – their views on involving local communities in education
- Wider support – how could they have better support in and out with the classroom
- Joining up – how can schools help other schools to do better
Find out more about the governance review: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/thegovernancereview