The Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2021: equalities impact assessment
Equalities Impact Assessment for new regulations that support the process for determining requests from parents in relation to the allocation of school places outside of the normal catchment area, and any subsequent appeals, and also the determination of exclusion appeals .
Stage 1: Framing
Results of framing exercise
There has been extensive stakeholder engagement undertaken to ascertain the views of parents, children and local authorities. This was achieved by engaging with the National Parents Forum for Scotland, the Children and Young People's Commissioner's office, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and local authorities through COSLA, SOLAR and ADES.
We approached the National Parent Forum for Scotland (NPFS) who canvassed their network and fed back that they would understand maintaining extended timescales of placing request process timeframes until the pandemic has eased. We have also engaged further with local authorities, through COSLA, ADES and SOLAR, to discuss the practicalities of these amended timeframes.
The framing exercise carried out consulted a wide range of policy officials and analytical colleagues who have been able to advise and provide evidence on these measures. Support and Wellbeing colleagues engaged throughout this process to provide insight into the needs and requirements of children and young people with additional support needs. It was noted that the timeframe extensions may have a greater impact on this group of children and young people. However, the shortening of the extended timescales permitted in 2020 for the 2021 admissions round increases the probability of the placing request process being completed before the start of the new academic year addressing these concerns to a great extent. Similarly this engagement sought views on the exclusion appeals process, this engagement highlighted that all exclusion appeals were resolved without the need to engage the Sheriff court.
In line with good practice we will continue to engage with colleagues covering the wide range of policy areas, to inform thinking on how this policy will affect different groups of people and communities and to ensure that we fulfil the need to assess the effect this policy has upon different groups of people.
Extent/Level of EQIA required
The Scottish Government's assessment of the impact of this policy on all areas of protected characteristics is that it will have no effect. However, the EQIA process has highlighted the need for the Scottish Government to continue to engage closely with stakeholders to ensure that equalities issues continue to be at the forefront of policy development processes and that any new issues can be dealt with as they arise.
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