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New Rights for Children aged 12+ with Additional Support for Learning Needs

Date posted: July 16, 2018

New Rights for Children aged 12+ with Additional Support for Learning Needs

On 10th January 2018 the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 come into force.

As of this date the rights of children aged 12 – 15 have been extended to give them many of the same rights as their parents and carers and young people over 16 under additional support for learning legislation.

The Scottish Government’s intention in delivering this Act is to empower children between the age of 12 and 15 to ensure they are able to influence decisions about their education and support including the identification, planning and review of their needs.

The Scottish Government hope these new rights will be particularly helpful to children whose parents are not always able to act on their behalf (such as looked after children and young carers).

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
  • To have a say in plans and decisions made about the support they get
  • To have Advocacy support at meetings about their support needs to help them share their views, questions some plans or make an appeal about certain issues if they are unhappy with the support being provided
  • To be more involved in resolving disagreements about their support

Safeguards have been put in place to protect children who do not have capacity to make their own decisions or where making use of their rights would have a negative impact on their wellbeing. The School or Education Authority will need to assess a child’s capacity to determine if they are able to make their request and to make sure this does not put them at any risk.

The Scottish Government have funded a new children’s service called My Rights My Say to ensure children know about and understand their rights and are able to access advocacy and legal representation where needed when using their rights. This service is being provided by Partners in Advocacy and covers the whole of Scotland.

If you would like to know more about the new service, check out the blog from Enquire

Enquire have produced a Factsheet which you can see here called Children’s Rights to Education and Additional Support in School

There is also a new website called REACH which supports young people’s voices on problems at school and how to get support that can help them. See REACHs website here.

To learn more about the My Rights My Say Advocacy Service for children and young people, get in touch with Partners in Advocacy at their Glasgow office on (0141) 847 0660 or email: glasgow@partnersinadvocacy.org.uk 

To access this support, a child, young person or parent can contact the service or make a referral via email to: help@myrightsmysay.scot

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