Tag Archives: have my say

Pupil Voice: Respecting Rights at our School⤴

from @ Reach

At most schools, there’s lots of talk about children’s rights. Rights are like promises to make sure that you are treated fairly, kept safe, and have what you need to live a good life. Learning about your rights at school can help you feel more cared for and in control of your future.

You might have questions about what rights are and why they’re such a big deal. Questions like… What rights do I have? What does it mean to respect everyone’s rights at school? Are my wants and my needs always the same as my rights? What happens when children’s rights are denied?

These are all good questions.

UNICEF rights respecting school logoThe charity UNICEF helps school to explore more about what rights are with their ‘Rights Respecting School’ award. 

Here’s what a few pupils at Ross High have to say about their school being a rights respecting school:

‘It has had a huge positive impact on my learning and I have a greater awareness of my rights and how that impacts my education.’ Hannah, S4

‘Moving from primary, to a rights respecting school, I have made really good relationships with my friends and teachers. I have learnt more about my rights and how it affects me and my family.’ Euan, S1

‘People are more aware of their rights and are putting them to practise.’ Leiha, S2

Ross High rights respecting schoolHere’s what Ailiya and Emma in S4 at Ross High shared with Reach:

“Our school is very proud that we successfully achieved our Level Two Rights Respecting Schools award, the first Secondary School to do so in East Lothian.

Being in a Rights Respecting School gives all the pupils a voice and a platform where pupils can express their opinion. For example we have our Pupil Council, Junior Leadership Team and Senior Leadership teams.

Being in a Rights Respecting School means everyone is aware of their rights as it is taught and applied in class but also shown with class displays and posters throughout the school.

We also have the privilege of having a mural outside our school, that was created by the Children’s Parliament . A group of our pupils went to a primary school to see how the mural was being made but also meeting the children behind it. This was a great opportunity to interact with younger years and find out their view on rights.

Ross High School is a place where pupils, teachers and the community have great respect for each other and their surroundings.”

Rights respecting school journey

Find out more about the bronze, silver and gold rights respecting schools awards, and how children’s rights can be a lived reality in your school. 


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Reach needs YOU – have your say in our survey⤴

from @ Reach

Hey you out there. Yes….you!

Pointing finger we need YOU

We would really appreciate your help.

Can you spare 5 mins to answer a few questions in our survey? Click here to take the survey.

We want to make sure that the Reach website is what young people like you actually want and need.

We will listen carefully to what you have to say, and will use what you tell us to shape the future of Reach.

Young person at computer dancing for joy

We will be entering all young people who complete the survey into a prize draw for Amazon Vouchers.


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What do YOU think of Reach….?⤴

from @ Reach

We want to make sure the Reach website is what young people like you actually want and need. So we’d like to hear what you think of it and your ideas about how we can make it better. 

When we were developing the website, we involved 75 young people from schools and youth groups across Scotland as youth advisors. They were complete legends! As well as helping us work out how best to reach young people and what our key messages should be, they also helped shape exactly what the website is like. One group that took part was the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Education and Lifelong Learning Committee. So how chuffed were we to we to get this lovely piece written by  MSYP Aqeel? Aqeel told us that the Scottish Youth Parliament even passed a motion in support of Reach!

We’re now planning lots more opportunities for young people to get involved with our work and help shape what Reach will look like in the future. Interested? Get in touch to find out how you could get involved, or just drop us an email to let us know what you think of the website…. What works? What’s rubbish? We want the whole picture….



The Scottish Youth Parliament’s Education and Lifelong Learning Committee want to thank Enquire for involving us when developing their brand new website. So what did we do? Well, other than complementing the excellent work of staff at Enquire who always go the extra mile to ensure young people have access to good quality information, we were involved in the site’s design. We were delighted to be able to inform aspects of the website such as the format, logos, the size, the layout and of course the lovely colours to make it all easily accessible and attractive to a young person’s eyes.

We think the website is not just a resource for those who are struggling with mental health or are being bullied. It’s a resource for all of Scotland’s young people; an advice service like no other. It has everything you want all on the same website! If you need exam advice, contacts for support organisations, are being bullying, or are having trouble with mental health, go visit reach.scot now, folks!


A big thank you to Aqeel MSYP for sharing his thoughts on Reach.

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“I’m Jenny…. and this is MY autism”⤴

from @ Reach

“Having autism is unique – it’s not painful, or itchy, or sore – it’s just how I see the world”. Check out this Fixers film and hear a girl called Jenny on a campaign to end the stigma about having Aspergers and to show it’s no reason to stop believing in yourself….

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What’s the plan?⤴

from @ Reach

 If you get extra support at school, you may have a learning support plan. Your plan will set out targets for each term, and the support you need to reach them.

You have the right to be involved in deciding what goes in this plan. You should get the chance to talk to your teachers about whether the plan is working out well for you.

Confused? Get in touch for more advice about planning your learning and support. 

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What helps young people feel included in school?⤴

from @ Reach

Hello, I’m Mark, I’m a 17-year-old pupil at school in Cumbernauld and I’m the Inclusion Ambassador for North Lanarkshire.

I went to Luxembourg to represent Scotland in a Europe-wide inclusive education conference. When we were there I got a good idea of what was important for pupils all over Europe – the key message is “Everything about us, with us”. We want to be heard and we want to have a say in anything that has to do with us. We are the experts in our own needs and we know what works and what doesn’t.

This is not just a message for politicians. It is the teachers that make the immediate difference to how inclusive a school is.

Take my school – before I moved up to high school my year head met with my parents and me. We worked out barriers for me in and around the school, spoke with teachers in private to make sure they understood my needs and made a clear plan for every type of situation at school. This might all seem quite a bit of work for one pupil, yet this only took three meetings and it was all made so much easier because of the talking and listening that went on between me and the teacher.

Sadly, some pupils do not have such a good experience as me, which is why I’m pleased to be one of the Inclusion Ambassadors for Education Scotland. We are a national group of young people who act as a ‘voice’ for pupils on inclusion. We share our views and experiences with Scottish Government Ministers, local authorities and schools. We are hoping to develop resources, a school pledge and a film in the coming months.

Here are three of our top priorities to make schools more inclusive:

  • Social Problems: being excluded at break times and not having enough chances to be included and make friends are big issues. My school found a way around this by setting up a club where pupils could play computer games and socialise. This helped pupils who were often quiet to come out of their shell.
  • Issues with Support staff: For some pupils (but not all), having support staff can sometimes feel like a barrier to their social life, and they might not need them as they get older.
  • Awareness: We feel that there isn’t enough done by schools to raise awareness of the issues that pupils face or the reasons they need support. The worst thing schools can do is to pick out a specific pupil – that’s just everyone’s worst nightmare – but what schools can do is to educate the year group that other people have different needs and promote the fact that you are a diverse and inclusive school so it’s great to have all types of pupils.

For me, talking and listening are the key to true inclusion because without this everything you might be doing could be entirely irrelevant to the pupil. After all, how can you include someone who isn’t involved in the conversation?



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The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is listening to 1,000 care experienced voices⤴

from @ Reach

“I’m Lynzy and I work as the Policy Ambassador for Who Cares? Scotland. I also grew up in care. Who Cares? Scotland is an independent advocacy and campaign organisation that works with care experienced young people, helping them to be listened to. We know that when young people are heard great things happen. The last time the Scottish Parliament listened to care experienced young people, a law called the Children and Young People Act 2014 was brought in and it included some of the biggest changes to care in a long time. However, we know that bigger changes are still needed. This is why Who Cares? Scotland came up with the 1000 Voices campaign.

1000 Voices asks that 1000 care experienced young people’s voices are listened to by the First Minister. We hope that by hearing from 1000 care experienced young people the First Minister will understand how things can be made better for them. In September 2016 the First Minister visited our national office in Glasgow and I got to meet her.  After she had spoken with us she decided to back the 1000 Voices campaign over the next two years. Not long after this, she also decided there should be a review of care in Scotland.

As someone with care experience I think it is vital for our voices to be heard. We are the ones that live in care so we know how it really works and what it feels like, better than anyone else. Sharing things about yourself can be scary at the time, but afterwards I have always felt empowered. I remember the first time I shared my story, I felt like a bag of nerves but then I felt really listened to. I felt that everything I said had meaning and that finally my story was being understood and not judged.

I believe that the First Minister listening to 1000 voices could improve the life chances of young people who come into care. I especially hope that ‘1000 voices’ can make it easier for care experienced young people to get the support they need to get the most out of their education. Young people in care already face lives full of upheaval and uncertainty. They must cope with being separated from their families, adjusting to a new way of life, getting to know new people, as well as going to meetings, reviews and children’s hearings. Even though care experienced young people have the right to extra support in school, this doesn’t always happen. I believe that if our views are listened to, more people will understand what support we need in education and how important it is that we get it. We could improve the chances of care experienced young people going on to college and university, something that a lot of us never think we can achieve. I believe that if we, care experienced young people, are listened to, there is so much more we can achieve in the world.”


If you are interested in hearing about how you can get involved with 1000 Voices, contact hello@whocaresscotland.org.

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