Young people in care celebrate their achievements
Earlier this month young people across Scotland anxiously waited for their exam results and parents will have been on hand with a supportive hug to congratulate or console their children. But for many young people being brought up in care, who do not stay with their biological family, this may not have been the case. Some young people will have opened their results alone.
To help provide some of that support, in their role as a Corporate Parent, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) spent time with some of these young people on Results Day. Members of SQA staff and their Board of Management met with, listened and heard all about the achievements and future aspirations of a number of care experienced learners. They were joined by Fiona McLeod MSP, Acting Minister for Children and Families and representatives of the national voluntary organisation, Who Cares? Scotland.
SQA Chairman, Graham Houston, said: "On behalf of the SQA Board, I was delighted to meet the young people and join them in celebrating their success. Hearing about their achievements and aspirations was a powerful reminder of the importance of encouraging and supporting young people in their education and training, no matter what their circumstances. SQA is committed to its responsibilities as a Corporate Parent."
Fiona McLeod MSP, Acting Minister for Children and Young People, said: "It was a privilege to join the group on what was a big day for them. They should be proud of their hard work and achievements so far and I wish them all well, along with the families, carers, teachers and lecturers who have supported their learning over the last year.
"I am also grateful to the SQA for showcasing their work as a Corporate Parent. It is heartening to see how this relationship is supporting young people – especially those who face barriers to learning – to help them fulfill their potential."
SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: "SQA is proud to be a Corporate Parent and I was thrilled to meet the group of young people and hear about their hard work, achievements and plans for the future. On behalf of everyone at SQA, I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements. I'd also like to pay tribute to the commitment and support provided by their carers, teachers and lecturers, schools and colleges.
"The afternoon was a great reminder of the importance of our work - to help young people to realise their potential and to achieve their ambitions, no matter what their background, by providing qualifications which are flexible and accessible, giving individuals of all abilities different routes to success. It is work that we remain committed to delivering."
As part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the Scottish Government named SQA and 23 other public bodies as "Corporate Parents" to young people in care. This meant a duty was placed on them to listen to the needs and wishes of children and young people in care, and for them to be proactive in their collective efforts to address these.
Who Cares? Scotland is a national voluntary organisation, which provides a range of advocacy, advice and support services across Scotland for children and young people with experience of care up to the age of 25. Who Cares? Scotland is commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide training for National Corporate Parents.
For more information visit Who Cares? Scotland