Impact of Coronavirus outbreak on children and young people to be examined

27.04.2020

The impact the Coronavirus outbreak has had on children and young people is to be explored by Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee as it announces its work in response to the current public health crisis.

The Committee will hear from young people and teachers about what impact the cancellation of the 2020 exams will have on them as well as their views on the planned assessment process.

The wellbeing of vulnerable children will also be explored. The Committee has already written to a number of organisations about the wellbeing of children in poverty, those with additional support needs and those monitored for child protection reasons. Now it would like to hear from those directly affected to hear first hand the impact school closures is having.

The Committee also wants data from the Government on which children are getting free school meals they are entitled to and whether vulnerable children are attending school alongside keyworker children.

Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said:

“We have seen the people of Scotland respond as never before to the challenges we all currently face. We have seen communities come together in support of each other and friends and families connect in new ways.

“But we cannot ignore the impact that the current measures will be having on some of the most vulnerable children. Those living in poverty and deprivation as well as those with additional support needs may not be getting the support and services they most desperately need. Our Committee wants to find out what more needs to be done to ensure that none of these children’s needs are missed as a result of this crisis.

“We also cannot forget for some young people, it feels like their futures have changed beyond imagination. There is uncertainty and fear about what the cancellation of the 2020 exams means for them.”

The Committee will also be exploring the future of colleges and universities. As concerns about funding grow, it will ask what can be done in response.

The Committee will hold focus groups with teachers today and tomorrow. Scottish Youth Parliament, YoungScot and Youthlink are already gathering views from young people for the Committee and reporting to the Committee this week. Then the Committee meets in public on Friday 1 May at 10.30 am to take evidence from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Papers for this meeting will be on the Committee’s webpages on Wednesday        

Background

The Committee previously announced it had written to a number of organisations to ask what more needs to be done to support vulnerable young people at this time.

A copy of that letter can be found here:

https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Education/General%20Documents/20200421Vulnerable_children_email.pdf

Anyone wanting to share their views on any of the issues being considered by the Committee should email:

[email protected]

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