All children have the right to be involved in decisions that impact their lives. This is clear under Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under Scottish Law, children aged 12 – 15, who have additional support needs, have the right to be listened to and involved in specific decisions about their support.
In most cases children are supported by their parents, teachers or other adults they know to get the support they need in school. But sometimes a child might want support that is separate from family and school to help them share their views. If a child feels they want to use their rights themselves they have the right to advocacy.
Children who do not want to or are unable to use their rights themselves still have the right to be involved in decisions about their support in school. My Rights, My Say Children’s Views service can help with this.
My Rights, My Say can also support practitioners to:
The Children’s Views service is separate from the school, the local authority and the child’s family. This can give a child space, separate from others involved, to think about what they want to say.
My Rights, My Say provides independent support to help practitioners ensure children’s views are heard in formal processes. The Children’s Views service will provide a written report of a child’s views in response to key questions or issues. We can also support children to attend meetings to share their views.
The Children’s Views service works with children aged 12-15 who have additional support needs.
The target audience for the Children’s Views service is:
– staff involved in supporting a child in school (teachers, head teachers)
– local authority staff
– the Additional Support Needs Tribunal
– independent mediators
– independent adjudicators
If you are a practitioner and you would like to recommend a referral to the Children’s Views service to a child and their family, you can download the information sheet below which explains the service.
Parents and carers cannot make a direct referral but can ask for their child to be referred to the Children’s Views service. Parents and carers can use the letter template below to send their request to their child’s school or local authority.
The Children’s Views service can work with a child aged 12 -15 to help them share their views during formal processes about their education including:
– when a child’s additional support needs are being assessed
– when an assessment for a Co-ordinated Support Plan is being carried out or the plan is being reviewed or closed
– if the child or their parents’ are making a reference to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal
– if a child’s parents are taking part in mediation with the school or local authority
– if they or their parents are taking part in independent adjudication.
There may be other times when the Children’s Views service could work with a child, such as if a child is out of school for a reason related to their additional support needs and the school wants to gather their views about the support that would help them back to school.
Please use the Contact us form to get in touch to find out more about the support My Rights, My Say could offer you.
No. The Children’s Views service does not require a capacity or well-being assessment to be carried out as the child is not using their rights under Additional Support for Learning legislation.
Yes. The Children’s Views service is a voluntary service. Parents and carers must agree to the Children’s Views service speaking to their child.
Yes. The Children’s Views service is a voluntary service. A child does not have to share their views if they do not want to.
A Children’s Views worker will work with a child to help them to share their views in response to questions or issues set out in the referral. Children’s Views workers are not advocacy workers but are experienced in listening to and reporting on what children have said.
They are independent of the child’s school and local authority. It is not their job to make their own assessment of the situation. They are there simply to help the child be involved in the decision-making process.
A Children’s Views worker will meet with the child in a place they are comfortable with. This could be at home, at school or somewhere else.
They will take time to get to know the child and explain what the questions or issues for them to discuss are. The child and the Children’s Views worker will explore the questions or issues in a way that works for the child. This could involve talking, talking while doing an activity, using symbols, drawing, or recording what they want to say.
The Children’s Views worker will write a report about what the child told them. The child will get to go through this to make sure they are happy with what is written. The Children’s Views worker will then send the report to the person who made the referral. A copy will be sent to the child and their parent or carer.
The Children’s Views worker can also help the child to share their views at a meeting if needed.
Click on the blue boxes below to read how the Children’s Views service can help children share their views.
Schools, organisations and local authorities can also benefit from free advice, information and support from My Rights, My Say. The service can support organisations who want to learn more, review or enhance their approach to listening to children’s views.
The Children’s Views service can work with local authorities or individual schools to:
– provide free information sessions to staff on children’s rights to additional support and their rights to be involved in decisions about their support
– provide free training to education staff to enhance their skills in listening to children’s views
– provide joint training sessions with staff and pupils to identify good practice.
The Children’s Views service works in partnership with three local authority areas each year to facilitate a more in depth review of how children are able to access their rights to be involved in decisions about their additional support needs.
My Rights, My Say can work with other organisations by:
– providing advice and information via the Enquire helpline
– running free training sessions for staff
– running free information sessions for children about their rights
Yes. The Children’s Views service, information and training sessions are all free.