Programme for Government 2020-21 launched
Date: 1st September 2020
The First Minister's speech on 1st September 2020 highlighted the commitment to “deliver a revolution in children’s rights” through passing the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill.
The Programme for Government 2020-21 focuses on COVID-19 recovery and includes a range of commitments relevant to children and young people’s human rights.
The commitments include that Scottish Government will:
- Introduce the UNCRC Incorporation (Scotland) Bill: the First Minister said the Bill will be “shortly introduced” and will fully and directly incorporate the UNCRC, to the maximum extent of the Scottish Parliament’s powers, within the current parliamentary term. It will place a statutory duty on Scottish Ministers and public authorities not to act incompatibly with the UNCRC and give powers of redress to children, young people and their representatives. Scottish Government intends that the Bill will “deliver a proactive culture of everyday accountability for children’s rights across public services.”
- Roll out a new Child Winter Heating Assistance programme: this will provide £200 per child for families of severely disabled children during winter 2020.
- Keep “the Promise” with care experienced children and young people: a recommitment to full implementation of the Independent Care Review recommendations, including through investing £4 million to deliver holistic family support, and establishing an independent oversight Board to drive forward progress.
- Establish community health and wellbeing services that will support children, young people and their families: with a particular focus on mental health.
- Promote equality and tackle the attainment gap: including improving digital connectivity through the provision of 25’000 chrome books, £135million additional investment including funding to recruit 1400 additional teachers and 2000 support staff to help close the poverty related attainment gap.
- Roll out a new Youth Guarantee: a £60 million investment to ensure every 16- to 24-year-old is guaranteed an opportunity at university, college, apprenticeship, employment, work experience or formal volunteering.
- Conduct a review of exams and qualifications: to learn lessons from this year’s SQA moderation and results.
The Programme also addresses previously made commitments which were delayed due to COVID-19. These include:
- Scottish Child Payment: applications will open in November 2020, with payments beginning from the end of February 2021. Eligible families will initially receive £10 a week for children under six years old, with this rising to all children up to age 16 once fully implemented. This is approximately two months behind schedule.
- Early learning and childcare expansion: all three and four year olds and eligible two-year-olds will be able to access 1’140 hours of childcare by the end of 2020 (the previous target was by August 2020).
Read the First Minister’s announcement in full here.
Read the Programme for Government 2020-21 in full here.