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Education (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 31A: Provision of support service

107.Paragraph 23 of the schedule to the Act inserts new section 31A into the 2004 Act which requires the Scottish Ministers to secure the provision of a support service to be available free of charge to children aged 12 or over who wish to exercise, or are considering exercising, their rights or whose parents wish to exercise, or are considering exercising, their rights in relation to their children under the 2004 Act.

108.Section 31A(2) describes a support service as a service under which:


advice, assistance and information including legal advice in relation to relevant rights are provided to children aged 12 or over;


a person (supporter or advocate) is provided who could be present at discussions with the education authority or could conduct discussions or make representations on behalf of such a child in relation to the relevant rights of that child;


a person (for example an advocate) is provided to conduct discussions with education authorities or make representations to them on behalf of such a child; and


an advocacy service is provided to such children whereby a person conducts discussions and makes representations to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland.

109.Section 31A(5) defines the “relevant rights” in relation to which children can seek information and advice. These are, for a child who is aged 12 years, any right which is conferred on the child by the 2004 Act including the right to receive any document and information or the right to give consent in relation to any matter. In relation to the parents of such a child, “relevant rights” means any rights conferred on the parents by or under the 2004 Act.

110.New section 31A(3) and (4) provide that any person providing the support service may seek the views of the child as respect the exercise of relevant rights or an action to be carried out in relation to the child under the 2004 Act.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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