Children's voice at Holyrood;Opinion
Therefore it is more fruitful at present to seek to influence the structure of government than detailed policy. Children in Scotland has produced a manifesto (page six) that strikes the right notes about child-friendly initiatives. How to ensure that children's interests are always taken into account is the key. A children's commissioner is suggested, and a standing committee that would tap into the views of children and young people.
At the heart would be a minister for the young. There is a case for dispensing with an "education" minister in the traditional sense in favour of a minister who would bring together several services, as a community (or "full-service") school will do for a locality. A post-school minister would look after further and higher education and links to training and industry.
No division of ministerial responsibilities is ideal. There is a case for maintaining the all-through education portfolio. But the needs of children are so often undervalued (witness the trail of abuse cases from children's homes) that a new approach is desirable.