Scotland’s Inclusion Ambassadors have a clear vision to help pupils feel more supported at school. Now they are calling on all the adults they come into contact with in education to “ask, listen and act” on what young people say.
The Inclusion Ambassadors are a group of 20 young people with additional support needs from all across Scotland. The group aims to make sure that the views of young people with additional support needs are heard in decisions about education. The group are supported by Children in Scotland.
As set out in the Additional Support for Learning Action Plan, the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion were asked to create a Vision Statement for Success for children and young people with additional support needs. The vision they have created is proof of the sort of school experience that young people want: one where they are supported to learn, but also one where opportunities to socialise and a more rounded school experiences are given equal weight.
The statement is intended to provide a guiding light for decision makers and practitioners, ensuring that listening to and acting on children’s views is prioritised in decision making.
Children in Scotland have published a vision and overview document that explains the Inclusion Ambassadors’ role in how the vision was developed and what they will be doing over the coming year to further this Vision.
However, the Vision Statement is just one part of the picture. Senior Policy, Projects & Participation Officer Chris Ross who works alongside the Inclusion Ambassadors states “There must be progress across all the activity in the Scottish Government Additional Support for Learning Action Plan if all children and young people are to get the support they need to succeed. Young people with additional support needs must be given more opportunities to be listened to and involved in decisions about their education, both within their school setting but also within local and national government. Without real action in policy and practice, the Vision Statement provided by the Inclusion Ambassadors will not have the impact it deserves. It is now on those of us who work with children and young people to bring this to life. We must work together and in partnership with young people to make this happen.”
The Inclusion Ambassadors have also created a Pledge Pack to be used in school. It has a number of pledges the Inclusion Ambassadors think are important to make sure children and young people with additional support needs feel happy and safe in school. It gives schools and other learning environments a chance to show how they are meeting the needs of young people with additional support needs.
The Pledge Pack is for anyone working in schools or other learning environments. It is a good way to show you are listening to children and young people about what they want in school. Chris goes on to say “We would love if parents and carers could encourage schools to create pledges and to share them with us so we can see how schools are working to meet the Inclusion Ambassadors vision.”
To find out more about the Inclusion Ambassadors or the Pledge Pack visit the Children in Scotland website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org