The parliamentary event at Holyrood was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the Equal Chance campaign in Scotland.

We had a packed room of over 70 people, partners, colleagues and members, who were there to hear Iain Gray, MSP, open the event with reference to the Attachment Ambassador project that was taking place in his East Lothian constituency, and his personal interest in the campaign in his role as Shadow Education Minister.  

Our Director, Fiona Aitken, spoke to the room of the reasons behind the Equal Chance campaign, and what we are calling for in Scotland that will better support adoptive children in school, before introducing the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bruce Adamson. 

Bruce described our Bridging the Gap report as being of huge importance, with direct testimonies being particularly powerful – “the outcomes for adopted children in education are shocking. It’s just not good enough”. He went on to introduce the panel of young people, Maxine, Ruby, Laura, Iain and Paula, who stole the show with their powerful question and answer session that was facilitated by our Education Project Coordinator, Kathy Allan.

The Minister of Children and Young People, Maree Todd, was visibly moved by the panel’s input, and thanked them profusely for giving her the opportunity to hear their stories. She spoke about the Scottish Government’s commitment to enshrining the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child as part of domestic law, and the rights issue surrounding the lack of opportunity given to adoptive children not receiving the understanding and support needed to achieve in school. 

She highlighted that the Scottish Government had announced additional funding of £33 million as part of the attainment fund, specifically to support care experienced – and adopted – children. Ms Todd finished with reference to the Year of the Young People, saying that: “Maxine, Ruby, Iain, Laura and Paula have been a shining example of how we can learn from them. Our task is to commit to them our energy to achieve our ambition to make Scotland a better country in which they can plan their futures.”

The event was brought to a close by Alison Parkinson, our helpline adviser and education coordinator, summarising the ‘Bridging the Gap’ report and highlighting our Scottish statistics and what this means for children and families.  After the final presentation attendees signed the ‘Equal Chance’ pledge, showing their support for the campaign.               

                                                           

                                                        Maree signing the pledge                                  Bruce signing the pledge

Show your support, join the campaign: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/support-the-call-for-an-equal-chance