Children and young people begin Summit talks
Under-18s converge on Edinburgh to plan unique youth summit event.
Children and young people from all over Scotland are to meet in Edinburgh today (Monday) to plan an unprecedented national summit.
Around 90 young people and 50 adults who work in education, youth work and the third sector are meeting to begin making arrangements for the Children and Young People’s Summit announced by Education Secretary Michael Russell in September.
The summit will gather a range of voices committed to making Scotland a better place for our children and young people, to inform and improve the important policy decisions that affect them.
Eleven to eighteen-year-olds from every local authority in Scotland have been invited to take part in the planning process – together with staff from third sector groups and charities specialising in young people’s services – with the intention of holding the summit in the New Year.
Today’s event in Edinburgh is the beginning of a process that will see conversations with children and young people take place around the country. The young people in attendance will co-produce plans for the summit programme and subsequent conversations.
Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“To make Scotland the best place to grow up we need to listen to the experiences and opinions of our young people. Today, children and young people are meeting in Edinburgh to make that happen.
“Starting today, the process of planning Scotland’s Children and Young People’s Summit is bringing together kids from all over the country with adults who support them.
“Together, they will decide how best to involve Scots of all ages who are interested in improving services for children and young people.
“We’ve seen very clearly this year that – contrary to myth – our young people are extremely keen to help shape our future as a society. This is the beginning of a major effort to make sure they can do just that.”
Schools Minister Dr Alasdair Allan said:
“This is the start of a very exciting process. Thousands of professionals work hard and thousands more people are volunteers who are committed to making Scotland a better place for our children and young people.
“We want this summit to bring an added voice to this conversation – that of our children and young people themselves.
“They will help plan the summit and it is for them to decide where, when and how it will happen. They will be closely involved in developing the approach and the content of the summit, which will inform future policy and drive improvement in services for children and young people.
“Scotland’s young people are bright, hard-working and committed to their communities. I can think of few people better placed to help make Scotland the best place to grow up.”
Notes To Editors
On 24 September 2014, at the Scottish Learning Festival, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning announced his intention to convene a Children and Young People’s Summit.
The Children and Young People’s Summit, which will take place early next year, will bring together children, young people, those who support them and wider civic society. It will provide an opportunity to harness the renewed interest in the positive, energising, consented improvement seen over the last two years. This gathering will be the beginning of a process that will see conversations with children and young people take place around the country. These conversations will inform future policy and will drive improvement in services for Children and Young People, while at the same time moving towards empowering children and young people to participate in decision making.
Although the Scottish Government will convene the summit, the intended participants will be closely involved in developing the approach and the content.
The purpose of today’s event is to enable positive engagement from the outset and to ensure that the summit itself is co-produced with children and young people. It is intended that the children and young people in attendance will develop plans for the content of the summit programme and subsequent conversations.
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