How can we help disabled school leavers, ask MSPs

A new law in Scotland aims to support disabled school leavers – but MSPs want to know if could have ‘unforeseen effects’

Emma Seith

How can we help disabled school leavers to thrive, ask MSPs

MSPs are seeking views on a new law that will force councils to put plans in place for disabled students making the move from school into work, college or university.

The Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill  introduced by the Labour MSP Johann Lamont  aims to help disabled children and young people as they leave school.

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There are around 4,000 disabled school leavers each year moving into work or further or higher education. Provisions in the bill include:

  • A duty on Scottish ministers to introduce a national transitions strategy.
  • A duty on local authorities to implement a transitions plan for each child and young person with a disability within the local authority area to improve outcomes for each individual as they move into adulthood.
  • Assigning special responsibility for the national transitions strategy to a Scottish minister.

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee wants to hear from individuals and organisations on whether they think the bill will achieve these aims for disabled school leavers and help them during the crucial transition period.

Support for disabled school leavers

It also wants to know if the bill may have any unexpected or unforeseen effects and how it may have an impact, for better or worse, on the rights and quality of life of disabled young people.

SNP MSP Clare Adamson, convener of the Education and Skills Committee, said: “Disabled school leavers face a complex and challenging transition period after leaving school and it is absolutely vital that they are fully supported to overcome these challenges and achieve their full potential.

“This Bill aims to provide disabled children and young people with the extra support they may require to help them have the same opportunities as their peers.”

The call for views closes on 11 January. They can be submitted here.

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Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

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