Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision about the rights of children and young people; to make provision about investigations by the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland; to make provision for and about the provision of services and support for or in relation to children and young people; to make provision for an adoption register; to make provision about children's hearings, detention in secure accommodation and consultation on certain proposals in relation to schools; and for connected purposes.


The Act makes provision in relation to aspects of children’s services so as to:

Reflect in domestic law the role of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in influencing the design and delivery of policies and services by placing duties on the Scottish Ministers and the wider public sector, and strengthening the powers of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland to enable investigations to be conducted in relation to matters concerning individual children and young people;

Improve the way services work to support children, young people and families by: ensuring there is a single planning approach for children who need additional support from services; creating a single point of contact around every child or young person; ensuring coordinated planning and delivery of services with a focus on outcomes, and providing a holistic and shared understanding of a child’s or young person’s wellbeing;

Strengthen the role of early years support in children’s and families’ lives by:

  • Increasing the amount and flexibility of free early learning and childcare from 475 hours a year to a minimum of 600 hours for 3 and 4 year olds; 2 year olds who are, or have been at any time since turning 2, looked after, subject to a kinship care order, or with a parent appointed guardian; as well enabling further expansion through secondary legislation with the intention to expand to 2 year olds from workless or job-seeking households in the first instance (by August 2014);
  • Introducing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to consultation and planning on all Early Learning and Childcare, day care and out of school care which local authorities have duties or powers to secure.

Ensure better permanence planning for looked after children by: extending corporate parenting across the public sector; clarifying eligibility of care leavers who are entitled to corporate parenting and aftercare support; extending support to young people leaving care for longer (up to and including the age of 25); entitling 16 year olds in foster, kinship or residential care the right to stay in care until they are 21 years old; supporting families and the parenting role of kinship carers through new legal entitlements; and putting Scotland’s National Adoption Register on a statutory footing;

Strengthen existing legislation on school closures under the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”), adding to the requirements education authorities are subject to when taking forward a school closure proposal, particularly when proposing to close a rural school. A new process is also put in place for school closure proposals called in by Scottish Ministers which are to be referred to the Convener of the School Closure Review Panels for determination by a Panel;

Strengthen existing legislation that affects children and young people by creating a new right to appeal a local authority decision to place a child in secure accommodation, and by making procedural and technical changes in the areas of children’s hearings support arrangements; and

Amend the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (“the 1980 Act”) to enable the Scottish Ministers to impose a duty on education authorities to provide certain pupils (prescribed by regulations) with school lunches free of charge; as well as giving education authorities the power to provide school lunches free of charge to pupils who satisfy such conditions as the authority think fit.



Reference: In the APA referencing system, Acts of Parliament do not need including in the reference list. On the first mention of the Act, a full citation is given in the text (ie. the name of the Act with date)




In terms of looked-after and accommodated children and careleavers in Scotland, the Act introduced a number of changes, including:


600 hours of free early learning and child care for all two-year-olds who are looked after or secured with friends or relatives through a Kinship Care Order (Part 6, sections 47 and 48)

Corporate parenting duties for certain individuals and organisations (Part 9)

Extended eligibility for Aftercare assistance up to the age of 25; a new duty on local authorities to report on the death of a young person in receipt of Aftercare services (Part 10)

Introduction of Continuing Care, providing certain care leavers with the opportunity to continue with the accommodation and assistance they were provided with immediately before they ceased to be looked after (Part 11)

Support for children at risk of becoming looked after (Part 12)

Assistance for applicants and holders of a Kinship Care Order (Part 13)




Acts of parliament are continuously updated (revised) to reflect subsequent acts that impact them; the pdf we hold is the original act as printed. The following link is the latest revised version;


Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 - latest revised version



Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

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