Extending children's rights guidance: consultation

Consultation on non-statutory guidance for education authorities and schools regarding the rights of children aged 12 to 15 years.

Chapter Four: Consideration of Adverse Impact on Wellbeing

Consideration of adverse impact on a child's wellbeing

21 When a child requests to exercise a particular right, the Act also requires those who have responsibilities in respect of that right to assess the child's capacity and also any potential adverse impact on wellbeing that the use of the particular right may cause.

22 An education authority is to be satisfied that in exercising their rights children will not experience any adverse impact on their wellbeing. The child's wellbeing is as defined by the wellbeing indicators in Getting it Right for Every Child and focuses on the child being Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, and Included. These have been incorporated into the Act for this purpose. The impact on child's wellbeing will be considered in terms of the indicators as and may be informed by the progress within the experiences and outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence's Health and Wellbeing.

23 When considering adverse impact on a child's wellbeing using wellbeing indicators, when exercising their rights an education authority can take into account the following factors:

  • consider the impact on the child's health and wellbeing as part of Curriculum for Excellence where their progress is assessed as the child is developing the knowledge and understanding skills, attributes and capabilities which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
  • consider any adverse impact on the indicators of wellbeing, a variety of assessment tools can be helpful including for example:
  • ensure active participation of the child in decision-making, in terms of participation the Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland's resource is available, 7 Golden Rules for Participation
  • personal support from an adult who knows the child well. The consideration of the teacher who knows the child will be based on a wide variety of sources of evidence including observing day-to-day learning, learning conversations and/or planned periodic holistic assessment.

24 Taking such factors into account, in almost all instances the class teacher, pastoral care staff or support teacher will be able to consider any adverse impact of a child exercising their rights. Teachers will want to discuss with the child to consider whether there would be any adverse impact of them exercising particular rights. In a few instances the assessment could be supported through the advice and guidance of education authority officials such as an educational psychologist and through other agencies involved in supporting wellbeing. For instance for a child on the child protection register a range of assessment tools can be used to assess impact on wellbeing.

Decision on whether there may be adverse impact on wellbeing

25 When an education authority reaches a decision on whether or not a child using their rights may have an adverse impact on wellbeing they must inform the child and their parent or carer of their conclusions.

Communicating about assessment of capacity and consideration of adverse impact of wellbeing taking place

26 The authority must inform the child and the parent of the child that an assessment is to take place, undertake the assessments and reach a conclusion on those matters. This must be undertaken prior to the right being used.

27 For example, where a child requests that there is a review of their co-ordinated support plan, the assessment of capacity and consideration of adverse impact on wellbeing should be carried out prior to any review being undertaken in response to the child's request. Where the request is made, the authority must notify the child's parents of the request to review the co-ordinated support plan and inform the child's parents of their intention to reach a conclusion on the capacity and any adverse impact on wellbeing of the request.

Extending Children's Rights: a flow chart on assessing capacity and wellbeing

Extending Children’s Rights: a flow chart on assessing capacity and wellbeing


Email: Emily McLean, capacityandwellbeing@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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