National Transitions to Adulthood Strategy Strategic Working Group minutes: July 2023

Minutes of the meeting held on the 4 July 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Anne Wilson, National Managed Clinical Network, Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs
  • Anne-Marie Sturrock, Borders College, Representing College Practitioners
  • Beth Kirby, Scottish Government
  • Carole Lee, Scottish Transitions Forum Parent Carer Network
  • Cheryl Douglas, ILF Scotland
  • Eilidh Fulton, Scottish Funding Council
  • Elaine Walls, Skills Development Scotland
  • Esther Bates, Children's Health Scotland
  • Gemma Richardson, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Healthcare
  • Jenny Miller, Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS)​
  • John Urquhart, COSLA
  • Lee House, ILF Scotland
  • Lucy Johnson, Children in Scotland
  • Marianne Scobie, Glasgow Disability Alliance
  • Marianne Tyler, The Health and Social Care Alliance​ (The ALLIANCE)
  • Mark Smith, Social Work Scotland
  • Rachel Bell, Scottish Government
  • Sam Nicholson, Education Scotland
  • Stephen Cotter, New College Lanarkshire - Representing College Practitioners
  • Tom Hall, Colleges Scotland
  • Tracey Francis, ARC Scotland
  • Una Macfadyen, National Managed Clinical Network, Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs

Items and actions

Welcome and review of previous meeting minutes and actions

RB welcomed attendees, noted apologies and introduced new group members representing college practitioners. The agenda and meeting outcomes were shared:

  •  access and use Objective Connect to collaborate on Strategy drafting and associated documents
  • consider the vision statement for the Strategy;
  • consider the proposed national priorities for the Strategy
  • contribute to engagement planning for testing the Statement of Intent expected between October – November 2023

The group discussed updates since the last meeting on 5th June, including:

JM shared other publications they felt were also relevant to this group’s work:

Strategy considerations

RB recapped previous discussions of the group on the proposed use of the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability, and suggested retaining this definition with supplementary information in recognition that the young people for whom this Strategy is intended may not all identify with the term ‘disability’. The group largely welcomed this proposal and offered support with drafting to better reflect the social model of disability. It was also suggested that a glossary of terminology could be added to the Strategy. UM recommended seeking feedback on proposals for the Strategy from mental health professionals, and through A Local Information System for Scotland (ALISS).

RB reiterated previous discussions amongst the group that this non-statutory Strategy does not seek to duplicate existing policies and legislation already in place to improve outcomes for disabled young people. However, the group’s views on the phrase “positive destinations” was invited, given feedback from some disabled young people that suggests they dislike this terminology and want more recognition within support for transitions that everyone’s path to success is different. The group agreed “positive destinations” can suggest a fixed end point, which disjointed services can compound.

The group suggested alternatives should be sought from disabled young people themselves, but could consider: (positive/onward) pathways/journey/next steps; aspirations/ambitions/life goals/hopes and dreams; and transitions for my needs and preferences. In the context of measuring the success of this Strategy, if not focussing on “positive destinations”, one member suggested using the eight wellbeing indicators of Getting it Right for Every Child (Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included).

RB shared qualitative data collated from this group; the young people’s groups; and work undertaken by the Disabled Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (DCYPAG) engagement sub-group, which has been considered so far in the development of the vision statement for the Strategy. Group members were then invited to propose a vision statement based on this feedback and their own experiences/views. Suggestions included ‘our vision is that disabled young people in the transition to adulthood are':

  • encouraged and supported to achieve their ambitions
  • supported to make individual choices about their future
  • listened to and are at the heart of decision making
  • at the centre of planning their pathway, listened to, informed of their options, valued for the choices they want to make, and supported effectively through a joined-up network of professionals who work together to ensure success
  • supported with their transition arrangements which focus on individual choice
  • proactively supported and encouraged to shape their own journey in the transition to adulthood in a way that they feel comfortable doing. They will be provided with the tools and information needed from the offset and will be at the heart of any decisions being made about their transitions
  • at the centre, and in control of, seamless and coordinated support to live life to the full

Based on the group’s feedback from the last meeting, some revised draft national priorities centred around co-ordinating and complementing the existing landscape and further embedding the broad principles of good transitions were shared, and the group were asked to consider and provide any further feedback on these:

  • choice, control and empowerment for the young person;
  • clearer channels of communication for young people and their parent carers;
  • co-ordination of individual support and communication across sectors;
  • communities of practice;
  • coherent policy and legislative landscape;
  • consistency of practice and support across Scotland;
  • collection of data to measure progress and improvements. 

Testing the Statement of Intent - engagement planning

RB shared some details of confirmed attendance at existing stakeholder meetings and events between October – November 2023 to test the Statement of Intent primarily amongst more young people and parent carers/families. Group members are invited to email suggestions of networks and events to support this period of engagement and members are also asked to seek wider engagement on the Statement of Intent once published, amongst their respective networks.

Introduction to Objective Connect

In advance of this meeting, BK issued invites to group members to Objective Connect, which will be used to collaborate on draft documents, and gave a brief overview on how to use it. Members were encouraged to update their notification preferences and email the Transitions mailbox if they experience any issues accessing.

Any other business, next meeting date, and close

RB closed the meeting and confirmed the next meeting date and time – 2 August 10-11am.


  • Secretariat to update next meeting date on 2 August 2023 to one hour.

  • officials leading on the Strategy to consider, within engagement planning, opportunities to seek more young people’s views on the phrase “positive destinations”.
  • members to email any further contributions to the vision statement and feedback on the draft National priorities to
  • officials to prepare a draft Statement of Intent for sharing with the group at next meeting on 2 August, for further collaboration through Objective Connect.
  • in advance of next meeting, members to email any suggestions of networks and events, or offers of support, for testing the published Statement of Intent between October – November 2023.
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