Section 6 Key Principles
Aberdeenshire Council is committed to achieving the best outcomes for all children and young people. Research shows that the Scottish Government vision for children and young people to be safe, nurtured, healthy, achieving, active, included, respected and responsible can be achieved most effectively through integrated working across all relevant services and agencies, as described within the GIRFEC agenda. Integrated Children’s Services Plan 2015-2018. This link takes you to the Council’s policy on inclusion and clarifies its commitment. Aberdeenshire’s firm commitment to inclusion is described at this link: Supported to Achieve Real Success (STARS)
Scottish Government hos a strong commitment to inclusion and to the promotion of equality for all. This includes children and young people who are particularly gifted and require specific challenge as well as those children and young people who have health, physical, learning or emotional needs or present with challenging behaviour for whatever reason. It is particularly important that everyone who works with children and young people with emotional, behavioural and social needs recognise their behaviour may be due to a range of developmental or environmental difficulties which can result in barriers to learning. These young people deserve and are entitled to a positive plan which allows them to achieve success.
All Scotland’s children and young people are entitled to support to enable them to gain as much as possible from the opportunities that Curriculum for Excellence provides. Some children may need additional support. The Support for all information details the many forms of support available to children in our schools.
As part of the Single Outcome Agreement, Aberdeenshire Council is committed to develop and deliver a Curriculum for Excellence to achieve national and local outcomes. Managers and practitioners should note that Curriculum for Excellence extends beyond schools. The Curriculum Review group stated in 2004:
“All establishments will work with a range of partners to address the needs of all children and young people and provide motivating and challenging opportunities, particularly for those who may require More Choices, More Chances Action to address the needs of learners requires an integrated approach across children and young people ‘s services with strong links to community learning and development and community regeneration.”
This commitment to meeting the needs of all children and young people, particularly those at risk, is in line with a series of guidance documents relating to Curriculum for Excellence such as Building the Curriculum 4 which states:
“Every child and young person is entitled to support to enable them to gain as much as possible from the opportunities to develop their skills which Curriculum for Excellence can provide. Timely provision of support to meet individuals’ needs will enable children and young people to effectively engage with opportunities for skills development.”
This link takes you to one section of the 2015-16 – Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA), clarifying expectations in relation to entitlement within CfE. When children and young people are happy, safe and supported, they are more likely to do well in school. Strong personal support for children and young people ensures that their care and welfare needs are met so that they can achieve their fullest potential. This link takes you to the 2004 report by HMle, Personal Support for Pupils in Scottish Schools. The report emphasises the need for strong and effective partnership working between parents and carers and the various agencies which support young people and their families. It also highlights the need for a clearer understanding of the respective roles of teachers and other professionals to ensure good quality personal and social education and smooth transitions as young people progress through and between schools.
Schools and their partners should also take account of the aims of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People expressed in ‘A RIGHT blether’ which promotes better understanding of the United Nations Convention and safeguards the rights of children, including those children and young people whose language difficulties or weak communication skills prevent them from effectively voicing their views. This link to the ‘RIGHT blether’ website provides excellent resources for aspects of personal development. There are also adapted resources for children and young people who require additional support.
Aberdeenshire Council is committed to listening to the voice of children and young people. In addition, the Council’s Children’s Rights Officers and Who Cares? Scotland staff have a key role in listening to and advocating for children and young people who are Looked After.
An overarching principle when working with children and young people is that of involving parents, carers and families. Section 10 provides further advice and information.