Programme for Government 2021-22 launched

Date: 17th September 2021

WEB-LivWan-Together-Illustration-Opening.jpg (1)

The Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government, which sets out the work the Government intends to carry out over the coming year. Area of work Scottish Government plans to focus on include: tackling inequality, transportation for children and young people, furthering support in and out of school, advancing early learning and children’s rights. 

Children’s Rights

  • Four million pounds will be invested between now and March 2024 to support public services to consistently uphold children’s rights, following the Scottish Parliament’s unanimous passing of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill.
  • Commitment to consult on a new Human Rights Bill within the coming year.

Tackling inequality

  • As advocated by over 120 organisations and leaders across Scotland, The Scottish Child Payment will be extended to children under 16 by the end of 2022, and doubled to £20 per week, per child ‘as quickly as possible’ after this.
  • Investment of one billion pounds to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap, with a refreshed Attainment Challenge Programme. The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-26 will be published in March 2022. It will be backed by a further £50 million.
  • Work to #KeepThePromise to Care Experienced children and young people, includes investing £500 million in a Whole Family Wellbeing Fund over the Parliament, to reduce crisis intervention and keep children and young people with their families. Introducing a new Care Experience Grant of a £200 annual payment over 10 years for care experienced young people.
  • Support to tackle the cost of a school day will include: a School Clothing Grant which will increase every year by inflation, provisions of digital devices for every school-age child, free school trips, and expanding free school meals to all Primary pupils. Pilot schemes will also be included within this package to deliver free breakfasts to all primary and special school children and a phased roll‑out of food distribution during the school holidays.
  • In recognition of the achievements and successes of children and young people with Additional Support Needs, a new approach will be developed, alongside the full implementation of the findings of the Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Review.


  • Subject to Parliamentary approval, a nationwide free bus travel for Scotland’s young people aged under 22 will be rolled out from 31 January 2022.

In School

  • The expansion of the Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme to primary age pupils from August 2022 and a pilot programme for secondary age pupils will be developed.
  • Funding for councils to support the recruitment of 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants.
  • The 12 recommendations of the OECD review of the curriculum, are to be implemented. To ensure children and young people are at the heart of the reform, a council of young people, chaired by the Education Secretary, will be set up.
  • Promotion of, and support for, outdoor learning, including trialling Scotland’s first outdoor primary learning facilities.
  • Launch of a Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme, and funding to support delivery of the recommendations of the LGBT Inclusive Education Working Group.
  • The development of guidance and materials to teach young people about consent and healthy relationships.

Out of School

  • A system of wraparound childcare will offer care before and after school and in the holidays, which will be free to families on the lowest incomes. Families and communities, including children and young people will be involved in designing options for this.
  • A School Leavers’ Toolkit will be developed to support young people after they leave school. It will include practical information about budgeting and finances, as well as guidance on how to exercise their full democratic rights as citizens.

Early Learning and Childcare

  • Funded early learning and childcare will be expanded to children aged 1 and 2, starting with low-income households. Engagement with families, the early learning sector and academics will start this year to design how this will work.

Read the full Programme for Government:  A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22here.

Discover previous years’ Programme for Government here.