Children lead the way on issues affecting them


by Rona Mackay

More than 300 children and young people had A Right Big Blether yesterday following a poll of 74,000 youngsters across Scotland to choose the top issues which affect them.

The votes have been counted and the results were revealed at yesterday’s event in the MacRobert Centre, University of Stirling, hosted by comedienne Susan Morrison and involving Scottish Government ministers and policy makers.

The top concerns that children want Children’s Commissioner Tam Baillie to act on are:

  • to be safe and secure in our homes
  • to have the same chances, no matter how much our families have
  • to feel safe and respected
  • everyone to include each other, no matter how different we all are

The details of each of these issues will be taken forward in the Commissioner’s own work plan and were debated in the discussion, along with hundreds of others expected to join in through the national schools intranet network GLOW.

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “A Right Blether has attracted a tremendous response which will produce some invaluable results.  It is crucial that we take into account the views of young people whenever decisions are being taken which affect them.  We remain committed to working with the Children’s Commissioner to promote strengthen and support children’s rights.”

Tam Baillie said: “I am delighted with the response to A Right Blether which is the largest consultation ever undertaken in Scotland.  I have trusted in the opinions and experiences of children and young people to help guide my work over the next four years.  I will work tirelessly on the issues of child abuse and neglect, equal opportunities for learning, challenging negative stereotypes and improving the lives of disabled children to better realise the rights of children in Scotland.”