Children and young people’s rights are set out in a special document that almost every country in the world has signed up to. This document is called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or the UNCRC for short.
Your rights in the UNCRC are called Articles and there are 54 of them. Article 28 is important as it says that you have the right to an education. Article 12 is good to know too – it says that you have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.
My rights to be supported and listened to at school in Scotland
The government in Scotland wants every child to get a good education and to get the help they need to do as well as they can in school. No matter how old you are, you have the right to get extra support at school if you need it to get the most out of your education, and the right to be listened to and involved in decisions made about your support.
If you’re aged 12 – 15 you can be even more involved in school decisions
The Scottish Government think that children aged 12 and over should have the right to be even more involved in decisions about their support.
This means that once you reach your 12th birthday, you have the right to:
- ask your school to find out if you need extra support
- have your say in plans and decisions made about the support you get
- have someone with you at meetings to help you share your views and understand what’s going on
- question plans made for you or make an appeal if you’re not happy with what your plans say
- get help to sort out any disagreements about your support.
Normally your teachers will notice if you need extra support. Or you, your parents or carers will talk to the school about what you are finding difficult and agree what might help. If this doesn’t happen, or you feel that people are not listening to your views, you can use your rights listed above.
Need help to use your rights?
If you are aged 12 – 15, you can get help to use your rights from a service called My Rights, My Say. Tell them what you need here.
If you are 16 or over….
If you’re 16 or older, you can act on your own behalf (unless people don’t think you are able to). Your school should ask you for your views and send any letters about your education or support directly to you. You have all the same rights as 12 – 15 year olds but you also get to make other big decisions for yourself – like choosing which school you go to or when to leave school.