Scotland's Programme for Government 2022-23

Date: 6th September 2022
Category: General measures of implementation

Mural shows two people with top hats and briefcases

The Scottish Government has published its official plans for 2022-23. Key themes include addressing the cost-of-living crisis, child poverty, education, care, justice and mental health.

Commitments include:

Incorporating children’s rights into law

  • Amend the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill to address the UK Supreme Court’s judgement and bring it back to the Scottish Parliament for Reconsideration Stage.
  • Continue developing the new Human Rights Bill and consult on proposals for the Bill (note: the Programme stops short of making a commitment to introduce a Bill to the Scottish Parliament).

Children’s participation in decision-making

  • Set out how Scottish Government can involve children and young people in democratic decision making, as part of a response to a report by the working group on Institutionalising Participatory and Deliberative Democracy.

Child poverty

  • Tackle child poverty through £294.4million towards family payments, including Bridging Payments, Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods and the Scottish Child Payment.
  • Increase the Scottish Child Payment from £20 to £25 per week per child from 14th November 2022 and extend it from under-6s to under-16s.
  • Automatic grant of Best Start Grant, Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment to families eligible for the Scottish Child Payment without the need to apply.
  • Widen eligibility for Best Start Foods by legislating to remove all income thresholds in 2023-24.
  • £64million investment to extend universal free school meal provision to include children in Primary 4 and 5. A further commitment to begin work with local authorities to extend to children in Primary 6 and 7.
  • £214 Child Winter Heating Assistance to support families with severely disabled children.

Education and childcare

  • Invest £20m in the design of an “all-year-round school-age childcare system”.
  • Build the evidence base required to inform the development of a high quality offer of early learning and childcare for 1- and 2-year-olds.
  • Reform the qualification and assessment system through introducing an Education Reform Bill. The newly established bodies will be “focused on the needs of pupils” and providing support for those with additional support needs.
  • Begin a “national discussion on education” which will give pupils and students the chance to shape the future system based on their experiences. This will begin in September 2022 and report in spring 2023.
  • Invest up to £200million each year in the Scottish Attainment Challenge to address the poverty-related attainment gap.
  • Start construction of 17 new schools.
  • Progress Scottish Government’s commitment to recruit an additional 3500 teachers in this parliamentary term.

Care and justice

  • Introduce the Children’s Care and Justice Bill to the Scottish Parliament as part of Scottish Government’s commitment to Keep The Promise and ensure that children in the care and justice systems receive trauma-informed and age-appropriate support. The Bill will also end the placement of under 18s in Young Offenders Institutions.
  • Work to develop a £200/year payment for up to 10 years for eligible 16-25-year-olds with care experience to provide additional financial security as they transition towards more independent living.
  • Set out next steps in ensuring access to “Bairns’ Hoose” services for all children referred for support.

Mental health

  • Invest a further £15million in Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Active travel

  • Deliver on the commitment for free bikes for school-age children who can’t afford one.
  • Further promote free bus travel for those under 22 to improve uptake.

Read the full Programme for Government 2022-23 here.

Discover previous years’ Programme for Government here.