By Bill Heaney
Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP has branded the Education, Children and Young People Committee’s report on her Members’ Bill “a dossier of failure” exposing the challenges disabled children and young people face.
The Scottish Labour MSP has lodged the Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) Bill to ensure that each disabled child and young person gets the support they need when leaving school.
The Education Committee recently published its report on the bill – which concludes that the current legislative and policy provision in this space is complex, cluttered, and difficult to navigate, acknowledges the poor deployment of coordinated support plans, and recognises that there is inconsistent practice and access to services across Scotland.
These are the key issues Ms Duncan-Glancy’s bill seeks to address – however, due to opposition from other parties the Committee failed to back the proposed law.
The SNP-Green government dismissed the need for a bill, claiming their long-promised National Transitions Strategy would deliver on its aims. Scottish Labour has slated this “wait and see” approach.
This comes as Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson sets out how the party will “bring hope to a new generation”.
Pam Duncan Glancy, pictured right, said “This dossier of failure lays bare the reality of young disabled people’s lives whose dreams have been shattered because of 16 years of failure and inaction by this SNP government.
“We have long been promised action on transitions but we still have no strategy from the government and no support for councils grappling with strangled budgets – and disabled people and their families are the casualty.
“Labour is committed to building an education system where background is no barrier to opportunity, and Scottish Labour would take decisive and early action to make sure disabled young people get the fighting chance that they deserve.
“Under the SNP disabled young people are being told to wait and see, but with Labour they’ll get their future back.”