children and young people
The current legislative framework protecting the equal rights of all children and young people are stated in the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). These rights are extensive, including the right to education and the right for children and young people to have their views respected.
The Children Act 1989 sets out the duty of local authorities to provide services according to the needs of all children and young people.
Every Child Matters (ECM) is a UK government initiative launched in 2003 for England and Wales (GIRFEC – Getting it Right for Every Child is Scotland’s equivalent) which aims to ensure that every child and young person is provided with the opportunity to be able to reach the goals set out within it’s five priority outcomes of;
* Being healthy – enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle * Staying safe – being protected from harm and neglect
* Enjoying and achieving – getting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood * Making a positive contribution – being involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour * Economic well-being – not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life The ECM introduced changes to the system’s structure and proposed the introduction of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to help practitioners working with children, young people and families to assess children and young people’s additional needs for earlier and more effective services, and to develop a common understanding of those needs and how to work together to meet them.
This led to The Children Act 2004 which outlined the improvement of access to all services for children and young people and the effectiveness of these services. Other important legislation ensuring the protection of equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people; * Sex Discrimination Act 1975 – to protect men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marriage. * Race Relations Act 1976 – to prevent from discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin. * Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 – including a statutory duty on public bodies to promote race equality and to demonstrate that procedures preventing race discrimination are present and effective. * Code of Practice on the duty to promote race equality 2002 – to help public authorities achieve race equality. * Human Rights Act 1998 – protects people from the violation of their rights as stated in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. * Data Protection Act 1998 – defines eight data protection principles and governs the protection of all personal data. * Freedom of Information Act 2000 – gives everyone the right to access personal data held by the public sector. * Education Act 1996 – Sets out the school’s responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. The Act also requires schools to provide additional resources, equipment and support to meet their needs. * Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – Protects the rights of all those with disabilities. It also places a duty on schools and other organisations to eliminate barriers to ensure that individuals can gain equal access to services. * Disability Discrimination Act 2005 – Places a duty for schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) and an Access Plan. Schools must encourage participation in all aspects of school life and eliminate harassment and unlawful discrimination. * Disability Equality Scheme an Access Plan – Scheme sets out ways that schools promote equality of opportunity and positive attitudes towards all individuals with disabilities. Access Plan identifies discriminatory barriers and removes them. * Equality...