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Pupils’ views in the spotlight, as exciting education initiative gets underway

Children and young people will have more of a say in their education, thanks to a new Learner Panel that has been launched today with Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Scottish Parliament, as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.

The Learner Panel for Scottish education, will strengthen the voice of children and young people in the development of national education policy and practice. The development of the panel will be supported by four leading children and young people’s organisations; Children in Scotland, Young Scot, Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament.

The panel will be made up of approximately 30 children and young people from nine school settings, including nursery, primary and secondary schools from across Scotland. It will provide opportunities for children and young people (age 3-18 years) to share their expertise, experiences and views to shape educational policies on a local and national level.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Involving young people in education decision making results in fresh new perspectives and policy ideas while also improving attainment significantly.

“That is why the Scottish Government is committed to strengthening the voice of young people and empowering them to have a say in how the system is shaped. It is our learners who are most affected by education policies in Scotland so it is only right that they are included at every stage of the process, not as an ‘add-on’ but as partners.

“The Year of Young People is all about giving young people a stronger say on the issues affecting their lives and the new Scottish Learner Panel will help make that happen. It will provide an opportunity for young people all across Scotland to help shape school, local and national level education policies, highlight key issues and suggest new and creative ideas and proposals. I look forward to working with them and receiving their final report and recommendations.”

On behalf of the partnership, Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “The Year of Young People aims to give young people a stronger say on issues affecting their lives, and this Learner Panel does exactly that. By listening to the voices of young people, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament, Young Scot and Children in Scotland are affirming their commitment to young people during this landmark year, and beyond.

“By placing the voice of young Scot’s at the heart of our education system we are ensuring that we build a future that is more vibrant, skilled, and confident. We all want Scotland to be the best place in the world for a young person to grow up – and an education system with their voice at the heart, we can truly make that happen.”

The panel will meet five times between October 2018 and March 2019, with a final report that will bring together the recommendations of the panel based on the research they have engaged in throughout the project.

Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP 2018) aims to give young people a stronger say on issues affecting their lives.