Working as if we live in the early days of a better nation for our bairns/weans

From the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty which sets out the rights every child has. The UK ratified the UNCRC in 1991 but it has not yet been made part of domestic law. This means that many of the protections contained within it are not accessible to children and young people across the UK. Scotland is in a unique position to make children’s rights part of its laws. This process is called incorporation. In March 2021, after over 10 years of campaigning by children, young people and wider civil society, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill that will make children’s rights part of the law in Scotland. 

https://www.togetherscotland.org.uk/about-childrens-rights/monitoring-the-uncrc/incorporation-of-the-un-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child/

The Scottish Parliament passed the bill unanimously. The UK Government now seeks to challenge the decision in the courts. The First Minister responded:

Jaw-dropping. The UK Tory government is going to Court to challenge a law passed by @scotparl unanimously. And for what? To protect their ability to legislate/act in ways that breach children’s rights in Scotland. Politically catastrophic, but also morally repugnant.

At moments like this, I’m more sure than ever of the overriding need for independence but it’s not the first time, by some way. In the last few years, I’ve had the same feeling when I read and wrote about these:

Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the SNP’s Scottish Child Payment

“a beacon of progressive policy for the rest of the UK” “the most progressive policy brought in since devolution 20 years ago” By stewartb I understand from an earlier post here today that the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland is claiming – in stark contrast to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – that the Scottish Government has a ‘record of shame’ on child poverty. Who view to believe? The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is widely regarded as the authoritative, independent source of evidence on poverty in the UK. It provides a readily accessible set of graphs on poverty levels … Continue readingJoseph Rowntree Foundation on the SNP’s Scottish Child Payment

Scottish Tories draw attention to progress on child poverty reduction

As you all know, I’m sure, the Scottish Tories are ‘Caring Conservatives‘ unlike their cousins south of the border. So, it was with genuine concern, I’m sure, that Rachael Hamilton, above asked about progress toward meeting targets for poverty reduction and for spending to reduce it. The answers are: and: The progress has been slow and modest, it has to be said, but that has been within the context of a welfare system still largely in UK hands. While it would not have been appropriate for the minister to make comparisons with Tory-run England, it is for The Tusker: https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/03/26/scotland-keeps-persistent-child-poverty-lower-than-in-england-or-wales/ … Continue readingScottish Tories draw attention to progress on child poverty reduction

‘Scotland’s school children are among the world’s lucky ones’

This has to be a first! In the world of Brian Monteith, John McClelland and Brian Wilson, near the letters pages saturated with the rancid lies of the likes of Professor Stevenson and Scotland in Union’s writing team, Professor Sridhar appears to put things into perspective as an academic should. Once in a red, white and blue moon, the Scotsman publishes something true. It’s not the top story of course. Celtic crashing out of Europe is clearly more important than our 700 000 school pupils in a time of pandemic. You’ll want to read the whole thing so only a … Continue reading‘Scotland’s school children are among the world’s lucky ones’

Scottish Primary School staff show how to look after children’s learning in a time of infection and our media cannot bear to credit them

I didn’t pay much attention to this point in the story of St Albert’s in Pollokshields, at the time (19th August): The council confirmed that arrangements have been made so that any pupils required to self-isolate can continue working online. STV and the Record used largely the same words. The Herald had: Each child at the Polloksheilds school has been issued with an iPad so that lessons can continue to be taught remotely but made little of it. It was only reading Libby Brooks in the Guardian today that I saw: When an entire primary class in Glasgow was asked to … Continue readingScottish Primary School staff show how to look after children’s learning in a time of infection and our media cannot bear to credit them

Childhood immunisation maintained at 96% in Scotland but falls in England

The yellow line refers to the MMR vaccine. Today, we hear for the quarter and year ending 31 March 2020: Uptake rates remained high in Scotland; over 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months old, apart from the rotavirus vaccine, which had 94.2% uptake. https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/child-health/childhood-immunisation-statistics-scotland/ The above composite graphs from September 2019 remind us of the ongoing risk of viral infection spreading across the border into Scotland, especially measles. It is not xenophobic only sensible to have border checks. Continue readingChildhood immunisation maintained at 96% in Scotland but falls in EnglandLEAVE A COMMENT

Far fewer Scots children at risk?

From Children’s Social Work Statistics Scotland, 2018-19 published yesterday. There are differences in the nature of the data collected, which limit to some extent comparisons between parts of the UK, but these do not seem to call into question the scale of reporting [see second reference below]. Continue readingFar fewer Scots children at risk?LEAVE A COMMENT

Scotland keeps persistent child poverty lower than in England or Wales

From the Scottish Government today, a report on the most damaging form of poverty: ‘Persistent poverty identifies individuals who live in relative poverty for three or more ofthe last four years. It therefore identifies people who have been living in poverty for asignificant period of time, which is more damaging than brief periods spent with a lowincome. The impacts can affect an individual throughout their lifetime.’ Regrettably, for all groups other than children, persistent poverty is as common in Scotland as it is in England and Wales but more common than in Northern Ireland. However: ‘Children have consistently had a … Continue readingScotland keeps persistent child poverty lower than in England or Wales1 COMMENT

96% of Scotland’s children immunised as UK figure plummets

From NHS Scotland today: Annual uptake rates remained high in Scotland in 2019; around 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months of age, apart from rotavirus vaccine, which had 93.2% uptake. Rotavirus vaccine must be given within a short time window (first dose before 15 weeks, second dose before 24 weeks), which explains the slightly lower uptake rate for this vaccine. The vast majority of children received their booster vaccines by 24 months of age; Hib/MenC (94.3%), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (94.4%), MenB (93.5%). For the MMR vaccine, which is first offered … Continue reading96% of Scotland’s children immunised as UK figure plummets

Child mortality falls 7% in 5 years to reach UK level

Thanks to a parliamentary question from the Lib Dems on Wednesday, the Scottish Government was able inform us that the mortality rate for children aged 1 to 9 has fallen 7%, from 10.39 per 100 000 in 2013 to 9.7 per 100 000 in 2018. The UK rate is also 9.7. Since 2007, the Scottish rate has fallen from 15 per 100 000 to the UK rate. In 2008, the UK figure was 12.3 per 100 000. Click to access WA20200318.pdf https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/childhoodinfantandperinatalmortalityinenglandandwales/2017#cancers-continue-to-be-the-most-common-cause-of-death-for-children-aged-1-to-15-years Readers will remember a series of Scottish government initiatives to reduce poverty which of course plays a part … Continue readingChild mortality falls 7% in 5 years to reach UK level

Police Scotland have never tasered a child

Although tasers have been drawn 22 times since 2016 in the presence of children (under 18), they have only been aimed 7 times and have never been discharged. https://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/434027/599268/599276/20-0236-response?view=Standard Data from England is not easily identified but the Children’s Rights Alliance for England estimated that tasers were fired on children around 25 times in 2013 alone: http://www.crae.org.uk/news/increase-in-use-of-tasers-on-children/ Continue readingPolice Scotland have never tasered a child

On Christmas Day we hear of how Tory England betrays its children but nothing of how SNP Scotland does not

Headlined in the Guardian on Christmas Day 2019: Thousands of children in care are increasingly being placed in homes that are illegal or unregulated, in what critics have labelled a national scandal, a Guardian investigation has found. A lack of places to house vulnerable children in the UK is prompting a surge in placements that are less safe. These include those that are unregulated or not registered with Ofsted. MPs, the police, charities and the children’s commissioner warn that children accommodated in these homes are at risk of exploitation from sexual predators and drug gangs. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/25/revealed-thousands-children-care-unregulated-homes As always, the report conflates … Continue readingOn Christmas Day we hear of how Tory England betrays its children but nothing of how SNP Scotland does not

Brian Taylor goes for a comfort break just as SNP Government’s £1.4 billion help for families with young children is announced

Today at Holyrood (Friday 19th), Bill Kidd MSP asked the Scottish Government how it supports low-income families with young children. Aileen Campbell replied: The Scottish Government has taken significant steps to reduce poverty and tackle inequality, particularly where it affects families with young children. The Tackling Child Poverty Action Plan Report, published in June, showed that 48 of the 58 actions we have committed to are already in progress or being delivered. In 2018-19 we invested over £1.4 billion to provide a wide range of support including Free School Meals, School Clothing Grants and increased funding to tackle food insecurity … Continue readingBrian Taylor goes for a comfort break just as SNP Government’s £1.4 billion help for families with young children is announced

Keeping homeless children in B&B or hostels is 95 times more common in Tory England than in Scotland

The Guardian article today does not, of course, present any Scottish breakdown but the Shelter research study from 2018 does: Click to access The_housing_crisis_generation_-_Homeless_children_in_Britain.pdf That more than 9 000 children were in B&B or hostels in England is shocking. The rate in Labour Wales, with half the population is also, pro rata, 5 times higher than in Scotland. The table above, also reveals that the total number of homeless children in Scotland is only slightly over half that, per capita, of England. All things being equal, at 11 times the population the English figure should be around 70 000 but … Continue readingKeeping homeless children in B&B or hostels is 95 times more common in Tory England than in Scotland

Cases of child cruelty and neglect TWICE as high across UK than in Scotland but it’s not reported

Headlining all day today on BBC Scotland, to boost your anxiety levels, and keep you reluctant to consider change of any kind, we heard: ‘Offences of child cruelty and neglect recorded by police in Scotland increased by 28% in the past year according to the NSPCC.’ There were 818 reports of child neglect or cruelty in 2018/2019, compared to 640 in the previous year. No explanation for the increase was offered though greater public awareness and pressure on families leading to higher reporting levels has been suggested elsewhere (below). We, of course, didn’t hear how these figures compare with those … Continue readingCases of child cruelty and neglect TWICE as high across UK than in Scotland but it’s not reported

Lib Dem draws our attention to glowing report on Children in Hospital in Scotland

I’m unusually grateful to Alex Cole-Hamilton for drawing my attention to the above report. He managed to find something slightly negative about information on ward procedures to ask the Health Secretary about yesterday. What, lack of information? Heads must roll! Contact Lisa at the BBC. Anyhow, I thought I’d have a look at the full report and, surprise, surprise, Cole-Hamilton has not drawn our attention to some very positive stuff about the experience of children in Scottish hospitals. I feel sure Reporting Scotland would love to report on it and use that cute photograph too. Either of them I suppose. … Continue readingLib Dem draws our attention to glowing report on Children in Hospital in Scotlan

Contrary to BBC Scotland scare story Scottish universities are the safest place for all of our children

BBC Scotland reported today, broadcast, online and presumably on radio (SMS): Racial harassment is a “common experience” for staff and students at Scottish universities, according to a new report. As always, the report by young McIvor is confused and misleading. It’s only when we read and hear (perhaps): Researchers heard from 571 staff and 845 students across the three nations. that, once more we know this is a tiny self-selecting sample that probably tells us little of value. There are around 430 000 staff at UK universities and 2 340 000 students so the response rates, even if it were … Continue readingContrary to BBC Scotland scare story Scottish universities are the safest place for all of our children

Scotland IS different as it protects unaccompanied children seeking asylum

In the HOUSE OF LORDS European Union Committee 48th Report of Session 2017–19 HL Paper 428 Brexit: refugee protection and asylum policy, we read: ‘The Refugee Council, for example, noted that unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Scotland and Northern Ireland had access to independent guardians, but that an equivalent service was only available to children in England and Wales who had [and who could prove that they had] experienced modern slavery.’ Click to access 428.pdf This follows the research the University of Birmingham showing that ‘EU families in Scotland feel more welcome and safer than south of the border.’ Click … Continue readingScotland IS different as it protects unaccompanied children seeking asylum

Joseph Rowntree Foundation praises SNP initiative on child poverty

The Scottish Child Payment will see £10 per week paid to lower-income families in receipt of qualifying benefits1 for every child aged under 16 years old. While the JRF offers advice on further improvements to the Scottish Child Payment, it was particularly supportive of the initiative saying, today: Following a great deal of work in advance of the Scottish Government’s announcement, including campaigning by a significant coalition of poverty-focused organisations in Scotland, we were pleased that the analysis and ideas in our first report had in many ways been reflected in the Scottish Government’s announcement. We believe the Scottish Child … Continue readingJoseph Rowntree Foundation praises SNP initiative on child poverty

Scotland has pioneering approach to supporting refugee children

From the Scottish Refugee Council yesterday: Research being presented today in Glasgow shows that Glasgow Clyde College is leading the way in educating young people who have been trafficked or arrived in Scotland alone seeking asylum….On average, five children arrive in Scotland every month who have been trafficked or are seeking asylum, according to the Scottish Guardianship Service who currently work with over 200 young people….Today, new research will be presented in Glasgow which documents what has been learnt through the 16+ESOL project, the specific needs of separate children, and compares this research against international practice. Scotland has a pioneering … Continue readingScotland has pioneering approach to supporting refugee children

The Named Person Scheme was a genuine attempt to protect children but all is not lost

As with the ill-advised repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, cynical opposition politicians will be gleeful and sadly, innocents may well suffer for it. Needless to say, they have no alternatives ideas to offer. Fortunately, Scotland already has a well-established and admired mechanism in place to protect children. See this from the Nuffield Trust in 2018: All the UK nations would do well to follow the example of Scotland’s ‘Getting it right for every child’ [GIRFEC] framework, an overarching child health strategy which unifies and coordinates policies, services and programmes for children and young people. Click to access … Continue readingThe Named Person Scheme was a genuine attempt to protect children but all is not lost

Only Guardian and Al Jazeera tell us EU families and ‘Eurochildren’ in Brexiting Britain feel safer in Scotland

From a research study by the University of Birmingham we read evidence that the gut feeling many of us had about the treatment of migrants in Scotland being different from that elsewhere in the UK has some substance: Summary: · Despite sharing the uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process, EU families in Scotland feel more welcome and safer than south of the border. · The research points to three main factors that have contributed to this: a) The words of reassurance that came after the referendum from the Scottish government directly addressed to EU nationals; b) The victory … Continue readingOnly Guardian and Al Jazeera tell us EU families and ‘Eurochildren’ in Brexiting Britain feel safer in Scotland

Eight years of steady improvement in outcomes for Scotland’s schoolchildren leaving non-Scottish parts well behind?

Image PA Note: This report has not been checked by Alasdair, TuS Education and Gardening Correspondent. Readers are advised to re-read after he has had time to wash his hands, hopefully not of the whole thing though (I know, clumsy sentence). For older readers, SCQF Level 6 is like the Highers award, Level 5 is like O Grade or the higher Standard Grade awards and Level 4 is like the lower Standard Grade awards (Alasdair?). From Summary Statistics for Attainment, Leaver Destinations and Healthy Living No. 8: 2018 Edition (Best-seller title?), corrected and released again today, we see clear evidence … Continue readingEight years of steady improvement in outcomes for Scotland’s schoolchildren leaving non-Scottish parts well behind?

Why the SNP free school meals for all plan is so sensible

Well, it’s not quite the headline story but at least it’s there. BBC Scotland, this morning, shows no sign of interest. Of course the announcement has a political aspect just like the really entertaining proposals by the Tories to save the planet and build affordable homes or the Labour proposal to boost the economy by having their leaflets printed in England, but, is it a good idea? It couldn’t be much better and the Child Poverty Action Group’s MP briefing, sourced by reader Cameron Brodie for TuS, in December 2020 is clear and comprehensive: The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) … Continue readingWhy the SNP free school meals for all plan is so sensible

SNP plans free school meals for ALL primary pupils

STURGEON – SNP FREE SCHOOL MEALS PLANS ‘A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT IN SCOTLAND’S FUTURE’ Nicola Sturgeon will today urge voters to give both votes to the SNP on May 6th to deliver ambitious free-school meals plans which could save families hundreds of pounds a year. With four weeks to go until the election, the SNP Leader will confirm that an SNP Government will provide free school breakfasts and lunches to every primary school pupil. And both breakfast and lunches will be made available all year round, ending the holiday gap that left too many children hungry, and increasing the saving to … Continue readingSNP plans free school meals for ALL primary pupils

I’ll stop there but if you search TuS there’s more.

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8 thoughts on “Working as if we live in the early days of a better nation for our bairns/weans

  1. Very good, but unfortunately, it’s not really possible to separate children’s rights from women’s rights. This is one of the reasons why coherent policy frameworks and a gender critical approach to law and public policy are vital to open democracy. Which is under serious threat in Scotland, as a result of immoral lobbying and the ideological capture of our political class.

    N.B. Human rights are indivisible and mutually supporting. That’s why Brexitania can’t be considered a social democracy, which requires a respect for human rights and the the rule-of-law. Which simply don’t work in isolation from international law, such as Treaty law.

    https://www.wcwonline.org/Women-and-Children-The-Human-Rights-Relationship/women-and-children-the-human-rights-relationship

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Alas, when the crematoria are working full bung, it is essential to keep a squad (or three) of tiny humans to go up, and clean the chimneys.

    Big hooses aussi, as we rich deserve to be sucked up to , big time.
    What if Cameroon were entertaining some very, very rich dude, to earn a bit of coin for Sam to shop in Gay Paree, and the damned chimney started smoking? What then, eh?
    What if he was a Lord, not one of these jumped-up fellars, but a REAL Lord all the way back to Willie the Conq?
    Thats WHAT kids are for–to couter for their betters.

    Nope, until the children are old enough to vote Tory, then they deserve NO protection, never mind some demmed foreign blighter telling an Englishman what’s what. Time for a gun boat to show who’s the boss.
    Fire up Queen Betty 11, and send her orf to show the flag.
    A whiff of cordite and watch the begger’s scatter!”

    “Now, where’s that waiter with my pink gin?
    Hey you oik, get your demmed finger out, or we’ll send you back to watermelon land”!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The £10 a week child payment for lower income households. It could alleviate and lower poverty. The kinship payment keeps children in families. Not in care. There are less children in care. It is cost affective. Increased carer payment. Vaccine for carers. Children coming out of care get an allowance and do not pay council tax. They get educational grants and allowance.

    Women who co habit (the majority) should be given equal rights with women (and men) to stop child poverty and homelessness.

    The increased building of affordable rental houses. Reduces poverty and homelessness. No Bedroom tax.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A pity the SG spent so much time on identity politics and so little on Independence of late. We could have been in a position to act if they had.
    7 years and almost zero ground work on shaping a Nation for Independence.

    Like

    1. It may just be me, but I seem to hear more about identity politics from those who disagree with it than I do from SG. They seem to have shelved it and are getting on with governing – and that at a time of national crisis and from an increasingly sticky wicket.

      I get the impression that a lot of things are being gradually adapted to form the foundations of future needs. International relations for a start. Or do you have sources/actual personal knowledge of what’s going on (or not) behind the scenes that proves otherwise? (Asked with interest, not in order to provoke).

      In the meantime, I think that – if anything good *can* come out of it – CV19 has highlighted the fact that the devolved Governments can actually do a good job. On their own. I believe seeing the practical application of politics – like anything else – is worth ten times theorising to those who aren’t politically astute. Those who tend to let ‘the government’ get on with it, and probably aren’t aware what’s reserved and what isn’t. They do now…

      And it’s these people who need to be convinced. That takes time. Or is the plan to ‘Do a Yoon’ and tell them what they’re getting because it’s good for them?

      NS said that she didn’t just want to hold an election, she wanted to win it. If she wins and doesn’t start serious moves towards independence, then I’ll apologise unreservedly. But, to me, although I know independence is becoming increasingly urgent, that doesn’t mean “UDI on 7th May!” That strikes me as being easy for anyone not actually responsible for implementing it to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. “…The UK ratified the UNCRC in 1991 but it has not yet been made part of domestic law…”

    So a signatory is planning to prevent a devolved polity, within its borders, from incorporating into law something to which it agrees?

    The mind, well and truly, boggles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m impressed that your mind is still capable of boggling, Drew.

      Mine went into “Again? Quelle surprise…”

      You know, I never used to be so cynical. You wonderful people are obviously a good influence on me… 😀

      Like

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