Rights are used to make sure you feel safe, looked after, respected and listened to. They are like a list of promises for treating you fairly.
In Scotland, there is a law that gives you the right to get extra support if you are having a hard time at school for any reason. This law is called the Additional Support for Learning Act (or the ASL Act for short).
The ASL Act makes sure that people listen to what you and your parents and carers think about your learning needs. It gives your parents and carers rights to ask your school to find out if you need extra support at school. If you’re over 16 you have the same rights as your parents and carers (as long as you are able to give your views, take part in decisions and understand what they might mean to you in school).
How the law is changing to give pupils more rights ….
Last year, after listening and talking to lots of young people, families and professionals, the Scottish Government decided to pass a new law (called the Education Act 2016) to give younger people the same rights as parents, carers and over 16s.
What does this mean for me???
This means that, from January 2018 (when the new rights kick in), if you’re 12 or over (and you are able to give your views, take part in decisions and understand what they might mean to you in school) you’ll have rights like being able to ask your school to find out if you need extra support, or make an appeal if you’re not happy with the support you’re getting.
What do young people think about these new rights?
Young people who talked to the charity Children in Scotland thought having more rights was a good idea because:
“Your parents might not understand what’s right.”
“You understand yourself more than anyone.”
“Everyone should have rights and that should be respected.”
but one pupil said:
“I wouldn’t understand them, I would like someone to tell me about them. It would help me if someone went through them with me.”
Confused? Don’t worry! Laws are complicated things. We are here to help you understand your rights to support at school. Contact us to find out more about the law and how it is changing.