Rights are like promises to make sure that you are treated fairly, protected, cared for, and have what you need to live a good life. One of your rights as a child or young person is the right to education

But what happens to this right during an emergency like coronavirus?

Here’s what the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland has to say about it:

“Rights are there so that children and young people can lead safe and happy lives, and that doesn’t stop being true in difficult times.

You still have the human right to education during the coronavirus pandemic, but keeping everyone safe means you might get it in different ways, and learn in different ways.”

At the moment, the Scottish Government is trying to protect children’s rights as best it can and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner and lots of other children’s organisations are helping the government do that.

Children’s voices

Usually children have the right to be listened to and taken seriously when decisions are being made about their lives, including their education. In Scotland, pupils who are aged 12-15 who have additional support needs have extra rights to be involved in decisions about their education and support.

But during the coronavirus emergency, it may not always be possible for your school to listen to your views before they make changes to your education because they need to keep you safe.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to your school if you need learning in a different way from everybody else or you need a bit of extra help with managing work at home. Talk to your school as your teachers will want to help you as much as they can.

Getting help to share your views

My Rights My Say logo

My Rights, My Say, which helps children aged 12-15 with additional support needs share their views with their school, is still working during the school closures. The team can’t meet pupils face-to-face but they can talk to you on the phone or the computer. If you want to find out how they can help then get in touch with them through the My Rights, My Say website.