Young Leaders of Learning Programme - Information for Parents and Carers

This programme was developed by Education Scotland to give children and young people an increasing say in their education and their schools. The programme supports the empowered system and also the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (articles 12 and 13).

Children working on tabletsPurpose of the programme

The purpose of the programme is to help children and young people to be more actively involved in helping to improve their schools by:

  • Taking part in reciprocal visits to other schools to identify what is working well, areas for improvement and effective practice.
  • Promoting ways that children and young people can be involved in school improvement activities in their own school.

Principles of the programme

  • Participating in the programme is voluntary - at local authority, establishment, pupil and individual staff member level.
  • The development of the programme should be agreed by all stakeholders – a co-design, collaborative model is recommended.
  • All Young Leader of Learning should undergo training approved by Education Scotland.
  • There should not be any direct observation of teachers.
  • Children and young people should take lead roles in taking forward identified actions from the visits, with the support of school staff.

General Information

Participants are usually selected from Primary 4-6 in primary schools, and Secondary 1-3 in secondary schools, although this can vary according to schools and local authorities. There are usually 8 Young Leaders of Learning in each school. Training and support can come from either Education Scotland, a local authority officer, or sparqs – a third sector organisation who support learner participation.

The programme is designed to be supportive and collaborative at every level, and evidence so far suggests that Young Leaders of Learning develop confidence, communication skills and other organisational abilities. Schools become better at involving learners in making improvements.