Youth Voice Strengthen in Education

Deputy First Minister with the Learner Panel

Young people will have more of a say in their education, thanks to a new Learner Panel that was launched with Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Scottish Parliament, as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.

The Learner Panel for Scottish education will strengthen the voice of young people in the development of education policy and allow them to shape educational decisions at a local council and national Government level.

The panel will be made up of around 30 children and young people from primary and secondary schools across Scotland, and will be supported by youth charities; Children in Scotland, Young Scot, Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament.

They will meet five times, and produce a final report in March 2019, bringing together their recommendations based on research they have gained throughout the project.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Involving young people in education decision making results in fresh new perspectives and policy ideas while also improving attainment significantly.

“That is why the Scottish Government is committed to strengthening the voice of young people and empowering them to have a say in how the system is shaped. It is our learners who are most affected by education policies in Scotland, so it is only right that they are included at every stage of the process, not as an ‘add-on’ but as partners.

“The Year of Young People is all about giving young people a stronger say on the issues affecting their lives and the new Scottish Learner Panel will help make that happen. It will provide an opportunity for young people all across Scotland to help shape school, local and national level education policies, highlight key issues and suggest new and creative ideas and proposals. I look forward to working with them and receiving their final report and recommendations.”

On behalf of the partnership, Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “The Year of Young People aims to give young people a stronger say on issues affecting their lives, and this Learner Panel does exactly that. By listening to the voices of young people, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament, Young Scot and Children in Scotland are affirming their commitment to young people during this landmark year, and beyond.

By placing the voice of young Scot’s at the heart of our education system we are ensuring that we build a future that is more vibrant, skilled, and confident. We all want Scotland to be the best place in the world for a young person to grow up – and an education system with their voice at the heart means we can truly make that happen. Louise Macdonald
Chief Executive of Young Scot