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In pictures...

Aileen Campbell John Muir 3Taking a walk on the wild side with some young people from Edinburgh College...

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Over 500,000 young people in Scotland have a Young Scot National Entitlement Card.

Latest updates

Annual Cabinet event with children and young people

We held our first annual meeting of Cabinet members with children and young people on 28 February 2017 at Bute House. This event will support us in developing a more coordinated, systematic and sustainable approach to engaging with children and young people at national level. See the Deputy First Minister's post on the Engage for Education blog for more information.

Four Members of the Children’s Parliament showed a short film, co-produced by children, which showcased children’s perspectives on key issues currently affecting them in Scotland. The film covered school and teachers; feeling safe in the community; bullying; and what children need.

Ten Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament raised issues that were important to young people today. On their agenda were “Lead the Way” (SYP manifesto); children and young people’s rights; “Speak Your Mind” campaign (on mental health); and the future of Scotland’s relationship with Europe.

Cabinet members and children and young people then collectively agreed to actions for the year ahead, in relation to children and young people.

Involving children and young people

We support the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - Article 12 of the UNCRC states that children have the right to express their views freely and have their opinions listened to in all matters affecting them.

We use a wide range of consultation and engagement activities so that young people can have their views heard and acted upon. These include consultations on:

Children’s Rights | Early Years Strategy | Health inequalities | Commonwealth Games 2014 Legacy | Climate Change | Tackling alcohol misuse | Anti-social behaviour | Children’s Hearings System | Scotland’s Teaching Workforce | Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan

How we're helping children and young people participate

Youth engagement allows young people in Scotland to participate and influence local and national activates and decisions.  One example is the co-design work undertaken by children and young people towards the Year of Young People 2018.  This work was supported by Children in Scotland, the Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot. 
The Interim Planning Group report, including recommendations, which will be used to inform more detailed planning work, can found on the Children in Scotland website.

Organisations that support us

We are working in partnership with national youth information and citizenship organisations and other partners to ensure young people are given the opportunity to participate in and influence local and national activities and decisions.

Organisations like Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament are supporting young people's contribution to, and engagement with, civic Scotland in many different ways.

The Scottish Youth Parliament

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland's young people. It is led and informed by young people and its role is to ensure that young people are heard by the decision makers of Scotland and to campaign on issues that matter most to Scotland's youth. It's manifesto, Change the Picture, is informed by over 42,000 young people from across Scotland and highlights 50 priority statements which include priorities in relation to equalities, rights and participation.

Young Scot

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland. Working in partnership with young people aged 11 to 26, Young Scot gives them access to information and opportunities, helping them become confident, informed and active citizens.

Scotland's Youth Smart Card

Scotland's Youth Smart Card - the Young Scot National Entitlement Card - gives young people access to over 1,400 discounts at shops and services across Scotland and a further 100,000 in Europe. The Youth Smart Card carries the PASS hologram which provides young people with a trusted and credible way of proving their age.

It also gives young people access to other benefits including cashless catering, leisure and library services and e-voting.

An exciting, recent development to the card is Young Scot Rewards - where young people can earn points and collect rewards for taking part in positive activities offered by a wide range of organisations.

New National Youth Work Strategy published

National-Youth-Work-Strategy-coverThe Youth Work Strategy - Our Ambitions for Improving the Life Chances of Young People in Scotland recognises youth work as a key and distinctive component of the Scottish Government’s present and future agenda for young people and harnesses its unique role and value.  It includes an action plan that outlines the responsibilities of the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and YouthLink Scotland in taking the Strategy forward.