A key lesson from evidence the Committee heard on the 2021 ACM, was the importance of communicating plans to young people themselves. The Committee emphasises that it is essential that contingency plans are communicated clearly not only to policy stakeholders but critically to parents, children and young people. The extent of engagement of young people, during the pandemic to date, in the development of policy that directly impacts them was a central theme in the evidence the Committee took. Further to this, the Committee recognises that communication and consultation with children and young people in particular was often lacking in earlier phases of the pandemic. Whilst we welcome recent progress made in this regard by the Scottish Government and its agencies, as well as by local government, there is both the need and the opportunity to continue improving such engagement and co-production as policy responses to the pandemic continue to evolve.
If the SG is serious about implementing the UNCRC into Scots law - we all need to recognise children and young people MUST have a voice in decisions which impact on them. We need to recognise and value their understanding of what is needed and not simply consult but empower them to help shape their school communities and what support they need.
They just weren’t given out in good time and severely added to teacher workload and mental health problems.
Young people have been treated dreadfully during this pandemic, all of the teenagers in my family have experienced significant deterioration in their mental health, there is no help for them and it is so sad that their potential has not been supported.
I absolutely agree. Too often policy is far removed from the lived reality of young people and their families. We must do better in ensuring that their voices are central to all decision-making.
All changes should be made clear to young people to minimise stress and uncertainty. There has been severe miscommunication from the SQA eg what young people should expect in terms of ‘help’ - it was so varied and, in many cases, a let down to what had been promised/expected. Anyone could see that there would be issues throughout the year with absence etc so the help for each subject should have been clearer and made available at an earlier stage.
There was little to no communication other than word soup that did not explain concisely what would happen but this did not differ from any other communication so is not just due to the pandemic
Participatory approaches and coproduction with young people needs to be done but must be done in a meaningful way without it simply ticking the box. Important to understand how to fully engage young people throughout the process and without it becoming burdensome on them and their families
Children and teenagers are struggling with huge mental issues. There is very little help and they feel forgotten.
This is important as ultimately these decisions were being made on education which is, for most young people, the centre point of their lives. Hence, it is critical that they have a voice and are kept up to date with any changes.
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