Ensuring Rights Matter: England’s and Scotland’s Frameworks for Implementing the Rights of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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Abstract

In recent years, both international law (notably the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and domestic legislation have led to a new emphasis on children’s rights in the field of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England and additional support needs (ASN) in Scotland. Scotland has moved ahead of England in extending these rights, but research has pointed to shortfalls in the practical realisation of the rights agenda in both jurisdictions. The Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in temporary school closures, has created further barriers to the realisation of children’s educational rights. The Scottish Government has developed a Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment framework, and new legislation incorporating the UNCRC into domestic legislation promises to generate further pressure for improvement in the delivery of rights. In England, there are less focused channels for influencing policy delivery. In the context of the domestic rights on SEND and ASN and the pandemic response, this paper provides a comparative assessment of the potential contribution of Children’s Rights Impact Assessments (CRIAs) to the protection of children’s rights, finding their potential not yet fully realised.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Jul 2021