Nicola Killean, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland has praised Sight Scotland for not only upholding the rights of visually impaired children and young people, but also empowering them to know their own rights so they can shape their own educational journey.  

During a recent visit to the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, the Commissioner observed the comprehensive efforts undertaken by the school and the charity's learning outreach programme to safeguard the rights of disabled children. The visit highlighted how these children's voices are acknowledged, enabling them to contribute to decisions impacting their everyday lives. The Commissioner also spoke to pupils on the recent move to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots law and how the teachers are following the ‘7 Golden Rules of Participation’ which inform adults what children and young people’s participation should feel like. 


Nicola Killean, said: “What a brilliant day hearing from young people and staff at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh. We’re currently asking children across Scotland what my office should be working on for the next four years and some pupils shared their views on poverty, education, and discrimination. It was wonderful to listen to them.

“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is clear that children have the right to an education that develops their personality, talents, and abilities to their fullest potential. Children with disabilities also have the right not to be discriminated against, and to be supported to participate in all aspects of their own lives.

“It was inspiring to learn about the work Sight Scotland is doing – not only to uphold the rights of children and young people with visual impairment, but also to ensure they know their rights, and how they can realise these in their daily lives. It is crucial for children to know about their own rights so that they can challenge when they are not being respected.”

Lucy Chetty, Head of Learning at Sight Scotland, comments: "A huge thank you to the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for taking the time to come and visit the Royal Blind School, it was great to see her interacting with the pupils and staff and learning more about what we provide at the school and in mainstream schools via our education outreach services. We are passionate about empowering all our young people to reach their full potential, so they can thrive and develop life skills that equip them for life beyond school. Through effective education we can enable our young people to uphold the principles of inclusivity and equality." 

Pam Cameron-Young, a QTVI Chartered Teacher at the Royal Blind School, adds: “As educators, we embrace the 7 Golden Rules of Participation, recognising that every young person’s voice matters. By encouraging active involvement, we not only create a vibrant learning environment but also uphold the spirit of the UNCRC. Empowering students through participation ensures we honour their rights, echoing the principles of inclusivity, respect, and the fundamental belief that every child has the right to be heard and engaged in shaping their own educational journey."

Children and Young People’s Commissioner chats to pupils and staff at the Royal Blind School

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