Overview March 2018


Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill

This Bill amends the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 on the provision of information in relation to the named person service and the preparation and implementation plans.

The Bill is intended to address the deficiencies identified by the Supreme Court judgement and to make the legislation compliant with human rights law. It is currently at Stage 1. The Education and Skills Committee has not passed this at Stage 1 yet, and has asked John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, for more information on a number of occasions.

Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill

This Bill will raise the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12 years in line with a longstanding recommendation from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

If the legislation is passed, it will mean that a child under the age of 12 years can no longer commit an offence. Currently, although children under the age of 12 are not prosecuted in Scotland, information about an offence accepted or established through a Children's Hearing can continue to appear on their Disclosure Certificate or Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme record into adulthood. This information will no longer appear on a child's record if the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill is passed in Parliament.

Social Security (Scotland) Bill

This Bill uses the new devolved powers on social security to make provision for social security. It makes provision for a new Best Start grant which will provide assistance to low income families at key transition points in the early years. It is proposed that this grant will be introduced in autumn 2018.

The Bill has currently passed Stage 2, and is expected to be passed as an Act before the summer recess.

Proposed Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill

A proposal for a Bill to give children equal protection from assault by prohibiting the physical punishment of children by parents and others caring for or in charge of children. This is likely to be introduced as a Bill before summer recess.


Scottish Government consultations

Loneliness and social isolation

Social Isolation and loneliness is an issue that can affect anyone at any age or stage of their lives. Feelings of loneliness have been demonstrated to have wide ranging consequences for those effected. and has been shown to lead to depression across all ages, as well as cognitive decline and dementia in older people. There is also the potential for serious physical health implications which have been compared to those of obesity or smoking.

For many parents and carers, loneliness and social isolation can be a major issue.


Closes 27 Apr 2018

The Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Action Plan

The Scottish Government is in the process of developing a ten year Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Action Plan which will take a cross-policy, rights-based approach to improving the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people across Scotland.

Forthcoming consultations

Consultations are expected on:

  • The review of Family Law Review
  • The Review of Children (Scotland) 1995 Act
  • Supporting Disabled Children, Young People and their Families


Westminster consultation

Science and Technology Committee (Commons) Inquiry: Impact of social media and screen-use on young people's health

The Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health. The Committee would particularly welcome the perspectives and experiences, and details of any initiatives taken, by children, schools and youth organisations.