Michael Russell blog – Getting it right in Forfar
Everything the Scottish Government does for and with children and young people has just one ultimate aim: we want to get it right for every single child and young person in Scotland, making this the best country in the world for them to grow up in.
They have an absolute right to expect the most positive outcomes possible – and we all have a responsibility to make sure they are safe and healthy, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, included and achieving.
Yes, it’s a lofty ambition and yes, there is more to do. Our Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) approach is the key to making sure we can all discharge that responsibility. Across the universal services of education and health – and in more specialist services when they’re needed – GIRFEC provides a common language and a consistent way for people to work together.
I’m looking forward to visiting Strathmore Primary School in Forfar today because I know that the GIRFEC approach is working well for them in practice and is enhancing their delivery of the curriculum. They are using the concept of wellbeing to support pupils and their families more effectively and I’m keen to hear from some of the families who are seeing positive benefits from the approach.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that the wellbeing of our children and young people must be our number one priority – and this is a key focus of Curriculum for Excellence. We need to continue to see schools using the GIRFEC approach to develop their practice and improve outcomes for children and young people.
GIRFEC is about offering proportionate and appropriate support when it’s needed. Parents and carers are absolutely key here. The vast majority do a terrific job of raising their children to become responsible citizens, confident individuals and effective contributors to society. But I suspect we could all do with a little extra help and support from time to time, whether it’s the terrible twos or knowing what to do for the best when teenagers push the boundaries. Knowing that public services will have a duty to provide that support is something to be welcomed.
We believe this gives us the best chance of creating a Scotland where the rights of children and young people are not just recognised, but rooted deep in our society and in our public services. A Scottish society where the wider community looks out for our children and helps their parents and carers to give them the positive start in life they deserve.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
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