Together responds to Education (Scotland) Bill consultation
Date: 5th February 2018
Together has responded to the Scottish Government consultation on 'Empowering Schools: A Consultation on the provision of the Education (Scotland) Bill'.
The consultation seeks views on the changes to education which will be introduced in the Education (Scotland) Bill to create a school and teacher-led system. These include the introduction of a Headteachers' Charter and the establishment of Regional Improvement Collaboratives. Respondees were also consulted on how pupil participation can be improved and how parental and community engagement can be strenghtened.
Together responded to only Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the consultation. In our response, we highlighted the following key messages:
Part 1: Headteachers' Charter
- Together does not take a specific position on the merits of introducing a Headteachers' Charter. Instead, we focus on how such a Charter could be used to embed rights-based practice across schools.
- In order to achieve this, Together recommends that the full range of aims of education as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 29 (the right to education) and General Comment 1 is fully embedded into the Charter. This will shape the ethos and culture of educational institutions into one in which children and young people's rights are placed at the centre of all decision making.
Part 2: Parental and Community Engagement
- The role of the parent in guaranteeing and promoting the rights of the child is enshrined throughout the UNCRC, and States have a duty to support parents and families in this role.
- Any efforts to enhance parental and community engagement should reinforce the rights laid out in the UNCRC and focus on building relationships between parents, carers and the school community that will protect and respect children's rights.
Part 3: Pupil Participation
- Together agrees that the Bill should include a requirement that schools pursue principles of pupil participation.
- This duty should enshrine the jurisprudence of the UN Committee, particularly General Comment 12: The Right of the Child to be Heard.
- The duty should encourage schools to focus on creating an ethos where pupil participation is embedded throughout the school culture.
- Read Together's full consultation response here.