Section 35 Councils’ duties to children
95.This section places a new duty on each Scottish council in respect of its functions which relate principally to children. Under this duty each council must have regard to the value of stable family life in a child’s development; and to the need to ensure that the content of teaching is appropriate to each child’s age, understanding and stage of development.
96.Subsection (2) provides a definition of “children” and “child”. The effect of the definition is that the new duty applies in the performance of functions which relate principally to children of school age - i.e. those who have attained the age of 5 years but have not attained the age of 16 years - and that the second limb of the duty (section 35(1)(b)) requires councils to have regard to what is appropriate having regard to each such child’s age, understanding and stage of development. The reference to “child’s” in the first limb of the duty (section 35(1)(a)) is not so restricted. Thus, that limb of the duty will require councils to have regard to the value of stable family life in any child’s development.