National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy Strategic Working Group minutes - 29 August 2023

Minutes from the National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy strategic working group meeting held on 29 August 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Anne-Marie Sturrock, Borders college, representing college practitioners
  • Anne Wilson, National managed clinical network, children with exceptional healthcare needs
  • Beth Kirby, Scottish Government
  • Claire Vekic, Colleges Scotland
  • Craig McDonald, Association for real change (ARC) Scotland, parent/carer representative
  • Eilidh Fulton, Scottish funding council
  • Gemma Richardson, Royal college of paediatrics and child health
  • Iain Wilson, Independent living fund Scotland
  • Jenny Miller, Promoting a more inclusive society (PAMIS)
  • Dr Edwin Jesudason, NHS Lothian – representing adult health
  • Karen Albrow, ARC Scotland – parent/carer representative
  • Marianne Scobie, Glasgow disability alliance (GDA)
  • Marianne Tyler, The health and social care alliance (The ALLIANCE)
  • Mark Smith, Social work Scotland
  • Michelle Goldenpenny, Skills development Scotland
  • Michelle Wilson, Children’s health Scotland
  • Nicola Davidson, Scottish Government
  • Rachel Bell, Scottish Government
  • Rebecca Williams, ARC Scotland
  • Sam Nicholson, Education Scotland
  • Sarah Lawson, Scottish Government
  • Scott Richardson-Read, ARC Scotland
  • Stephanie MacGregor-Cross, Social work Scotland
  • Stephen Cotter, New college Lanarkshire – representing college practitioners
  • Tracey Francis, ARC Scotland
  • Una Macfadyen, NHS Lothian – representing adult health


  • Dr Gavin Cobb, Royal college of paediatrics and child health
  • James Fletcher, ARC Scotland
  • Fran Foreman, Education Scotland
  • Rob Gowans, The ALLIANCE
  • Lucy Johnson, Children in Scotland
  • Fergus McMillan, Skills development Scotland
  • John Urquhart, The convention of Scottish local authorities (COSLA)
  • Fiona Whelan, Universities Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and review of previous meeting minutes and actions

RB welcomed attendees and noted apologies. The agenda and meeting outcomes were shared:

  • to share internal and external feedback on the draft Statement of Intent and highlight any resultant changes to the document.
  • to share the final engagement plans for testing the Statement of Intent and communication preferences during the testing period.
  • to agree future meeting dates from December 2023. 

Group updates

SL shared updates of potential interest to the group:

Overview of internal and external feedback on Statement of Intent, and changes

Feedback on the draft Statement of Intent was sought from the group and Scottish Government colleagues on the cross policy working group.

In response to the feedback, changes included:

  • clarifying why the age range 14-25 years old is proposed.
  • reinforcing the Scottish Government’s commitment to the social model of disability which says people are disabled by barriers in society.
  • explaining what a Statement of Intent is and how it differs from the final strategy.

From the group’s discussion, it was clear that the disabled young people with whom different members work identify differently - for example some prefer the term ‘person with disability’ whilst others favour ‘disabled person’. MS suggested the drafting of the final strategy presents an opportunity to provide more information on the social model of disability, in order the young people’s choices can be more informed. They highlighted the Youth work strategy as an effective example of this. There were also suggestions from group members that, if not statutory, an age range could be omitted from the definition of ‘transition to adulthood’ in recognition that transitions for disabled young people are ongoing. The publication and testing of the Statement of Intent will provide an opportunity to test these areas more widely.

The group reflected on the resourcing challenges and changes to provision across areas and services, which they discussed would frame the strategy and any areas it seeks to focus on. Group members reflected that the strategy’s goals need to be practical and suggested:

  • families should receive better signposting, but the provision of information should reflect what is available in practice.
  • more resourcing to support services with transitions planning.
  • improved co-ordination of language across services and the policy areas across Scottish Government.

RB acknowledged that each service and sector has its own unique challenges when it comes to transitions, but that the strategy must be as widely applicable as possible.

Engagement Plans and Communication Preferences

SL outlined the plans for engagement, sharing a calendar of upcoming events in which feedback will be sought on the Statement of Intent. The group were invited to provide feedback on the Microsoft forms questionnaire which seeks to test the Statement of Intent. Suggestions included:

  • user testing on a range of devices - for example phones, tablets etc.
  • user testing with disabled people.
  • risk of only being accessed by professionals and some parents.
  • over-complicated language; likely unsuitable for disabled young people and average literacy levels.

Future meetings

RB outlined next steps for publishing and testing the Statement of intent, including in easy read, British sign language and audio versions. RB shared proposed future meeting dates, and sought the group’s agreement to resuming meetings in early December and continuing monthly thereafter. Comments from the group indicated agreement to this approach.

Any other business, future meeting date, next steps and close

RB closed the meeting and confirmed the next meeting date and time – Wednesday 6th December from 2.00-3.30pm (updated following suggestions from the group that 5th December is unsuitable).


  • Scottish Government colleagues to review the questionnaire in line with feedback.
  • Scottish Government colleagues to issue Teams invites for resuming group meetings from December 2023.
  • Scottish Government colleagues to develop and issue engagement packs to support group members to communicate with relevant stakeholder networks on the Statement of Intent.
  • Group members to share the Statement of Intent and seek feedback using the questionnaire amongst relevant stakeholder networks suggested.
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