My Rights, My Say is a new service that supports children with additional support needs to exercise their rights. The service is delivered in partnership by Enquire, Children in Scotland, Partners in Advocacy and Cairn Legal, and offers a range of information, advocacy and other supports.
In January this year children with additional support needs were awarded extended rights under the Additional Support for Learning Act as part of the Education Act 2016. This means that children between the ages of 12 – 15 now have most of the same rights as young people and parents under this legislation. The principle of this change and one of the key policy intentions was that children have more rights to be involved in their support and are able to directly challenge things they are not satisfied with through the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.
The Act also introduced the requirement to provide a support service for children wishing to exercise their rights. Enquire, Children in Scotland, Partners in Advocacy and Cairn Legal have been commissioned to provide this service which is called My Rights, My Say. The Enquire role is to provide information and raise awareness of the rights, Partners in Advocacy provides advocacy to children in relation to exercising these rights, Cairn Legal provides legal representation at the Tribunal and Children in Scotland takes the views of children in response to direction from the ASNT, mediation or adjudication services and supports local authorities to enhance professional practice in listening to children’s views.
Making referrals to My Rights, My Say
Children can now make a referral to My Rights, My Say through the Reach website. The address is www.reach.scot/myrightsmysay
Parents, carers and practitioners can now make a referral through the Enquire website www.enquire.org.uk/myrightsmysay
Other useful information
There are a number of resources to help raise awareness of the extension of children’s rights:
- A new page for children on the Reach website explaining their rights https://reach.scot/get-help/rights-support-school/
- Updated information on children’s rights on the Enquire website http://enquire.org.uk/parents/rights/
- A factsheet for parents and carers and one for professionals which can be found at http://enquire.org.uk/publications/