Young Carers

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th September 2019.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

Mr Whittle makes a fair point. It is important that all our educators are equipped to deal with young people as they present themselves and the circumstances with which they are wrestling.

Mr Whittle is also correct to say that there are examples of outstanding practice in our country and examples in which practice will not be as strong as that.

During the summer, I spent some time at the Scottish young carers festival near Dunfermline, at which I spoke to a group of young people who, even in that small grouping in the same local authority area, were able to recount a position that Mr Whittle has recounted. Some young people had very specific and focused support in place; for others, that was less the case.

I agree with Mr Whittle that, as part of continuing professional development of our teaching profession so that it understands the health and wellbeing aspects of our curriculum, teachers should be equipped with that knowledge to provide the support that young carers require in our society.