Inquiry into curriculum and C&YP's awareness of Parliament

Inquiry into curriculum and C&YP's awareness of Parliament

The Parliament should hold an inquiry into the relationship between the aims of the current curriculum and the Parliament to explore systematic changes that can be made throughout schools and in communities to improve children and young people's knowledge and awareness of Parliament - and deliberative democracy - including through mentorships, internships and competitions. Our vision is that by the Parliament’s 25th anniversary there should be a clear plan in place so that by the Parliament’s 30th anniversary, all young people of voting age have clear understanding and knowledge about engaging with Parliament and Government and all see engaging with Parliament as a normal aspect of everyday life.


As part of a wider education programme to encourage active citizenry. This is not just about encouraging younger people to take part, but also educating current participants (eg community councillors, local charity trustees) how to ensure that people who show willingness to engage are engaged. Such participation must yield results (outcomes, making a difference) and for this local groups - especially community councils - need resourcing and power.

Children are the future, and need to understand how their voices can be hard. Schools would be an effective place to do this.

This is really important. The Electoral Commission have produced some excellent resources that could be built on and embedded within the school and youth work learning opportunities that exist throughout Scotland.

Should education providers have a duty to ensure education about local and national democracy (including the SP) is delivered in a range of settings, including schools, community learning and further / higher education settings.

I don't think an inquiry is needed. Children and young people just need to be taught about the Scottish parliament in school.

Engaging with Parliament would be seen as normal part of young people's lives if: they learned about and discussed topics in school earlier; if every young adult in Scotland was given the chance to visit parliament - "more contact with the parliament, more often"; if young people were given frequent opportunities to share their views - "don't just educate people, engage them, encourage interaction."; if there was more community engagement, making the Parliament presence more common in local area

Outside of school Parliament and MSPs should visit communities more often as people are more likely to engage if they know individual MSPs rather than a political party. More engagement in local communities aimed at young people. Use social media and platforms like discord and youtube to reach young people. Engage via after school clubs and youth groups. Involve parents more and educate them about engaging with Parliament and then they can pass this on to their children.

Pupils felt Parliament could reach young people outside of school by encouraging participation via parents - as parents are more likely to read information from Parliament and pass that on to young people. Engaging via after school clubs, youth clubs, social media, interactive events, activities in communities and advertising with celebrities were suggested. Providing prizes as incentives for participation such as vouchers and coupons. Provide volunteering opportunities for young people.

I believe that children should be taught about the different political systems, from primary school. There should be yearly assemblies with local decision-makers to show pupils what it’s like to be in office, potentially inspiring young people to run. Pupils could also be given lessons on how to ask effective questions, based on their age and ability. By doing this, it starts interest young and could improve turnout.

Galashiels Academy — the Electoral Commission has politically impartial education resources on political literacy, although they seem to have been made before the voting age was lowered in Scotland. I am part of a group that is designing more resources for the EC, and am thinking of creating parental discussion packs to encourage parents to talk to their children about it. It could also give some reliable sources of information and tips on fact-checking. In any case, I’ll mention your points.

Move elections to Saturday's so that parents, carers and guardians can easily take thier children and young people with them when they vote. Meanwhile, schools should be allowed to take their kids on a trip to a polling station on polling day, and on election counts held the day afterwards. Again this will allow children to directly see the democratic process first hand, taking it away from the world of boring hypotheticals and into their direct lived experience.

Building more awareness of parliament and public engagement with it is crucial and schools are important to this. This could be connected with the work on human and children's rights (e.g. rights respecting schools initiatives)

JustCitizens believe that children and young people should learn about the different levels of governance from an early age. That can be a way to foster a culture in which people feel they belong in places of power, such as the Scottish Parliament, and that they can play an active role in how decisions are taken on their behalf.

Any information produced should be disability friendly and in EASYREAD, Braille and audio formats. EASYREAD is great for people with disabilities but also it makes it easier for all people to understand and it means people with disabilities can explain information to others. People need to know the powers the Parliament has, what people can and can't do.

Pupils suggested using competitions and giveaways to increase awareness of Parliament. They also felt that learning about how the Scottish Parliament works should be a mandatory subject so hearing about Parliament becomes routine.

Pupils felt that information about Parliament could be taught from an earlier age, including primary school. They felt that mandatory lessons could be provided in either modern studies or PSE classes about engaging with Parliament and current legislation. Pupils were keen for any lessons to be unbiased and used as an introduction to topics, political parties and the Parliament.

Information could be provided via school assemblies or regular visits to schools by Parliament staff. Surveys could be completed in registration classes either monthly or bi-monthly so young people get used to sharing their views with Parliament.

Pupils disagreed on whether voting in elections should be made mandatory. Some felt that it would force people to engage, and others felt that voting should not be compulsory as people should have a choice about whether they vote or not.

Young people should have more opportunities to share their views and vote on things that matter to them. Some pupils felt the voting age should be lowered to before the age of 16.

Pupils felt that young people could learn more about the Parliament via PSE and modern studies classes but also suggested that the Parliament should send surveys to schools to be completed by students in relevant classes and offer optional lunch time periods where people could go to learn more about the Parliament.

Lots different suggestions about how best to deliver in school including: *Part of PSHE *Block of lessons *After school clubs *More visits from Parliament staff *More visits to the Parliament *Assemblies. Out of school the Parliament could work with: *Uniform groups (Guides, Scouts etc.) *Campaigns featuring celebrities.

Parliament could also try: Branded merchandise, e.g. supplying pupils with pens which they’d see every day. Use of surveys that could be sent directly to schools. Subject specific, e.g. planning issues to Geography students, food to Home Economics. Presence on social media such as TikTok, YouTube etc sharing what is happening.

Back to group

This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation

Your Priorities on GitHub

Check out the Citizens Foundation website for more information