Michael Hands from Monifieth High School, Angus has been chosen as one of Scotland’s Young Ambassadors for Inclusion.
Michael was chosen to represent Angus as part of the new Scotland’s Young Ambassadors for Inclusion programme developed by Education Scotland.
Through the programme, young people who face barriers to education will be given a voice at a national level to help make a significant impact in raising awareness of the issues around additional support needs and inclusive education.
Michael said: “It was good to meet other people from different backgrounds. Scotland is a very forward-thinking country and I’m proud to be sharing my positive story.”
Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan, said: “The Scotland’s Young Ambassador for Inclusion Programme is a great opportunity for young people to make a difference to how additional support for learning teaching is delivered across the country. Their insight into inclusive education is invaluable. It will help to identify areas where practice can be improved upon to ensure that young people have the correct support available to fulfil their potential.”
So far, 21 Ambassadors have been chosen to represent their local authority and school.
Lesley Brown, Education Scotland’s Strategic Director for Families, Inclusion and Local Authorities, said: “We are delighted to launch Scotland’s Young Ambassadors for Inclusion programme and look forward to working with Michael and his fellow Ambassadors.
“The group will work together to share views and experiences of inclusive education and act as a ‘voice’ at a national level. We want their perspective on what approaches work well and consider ways to develop and support inclusive education in Scotland.
“These inspirational young people have overcome many barriers to education and we hope they feel proud in their new role. Their knowledge, experience and empathy with others make them a great choice to represent their peers within inclusive education.”
Councillor Sheena Welsh, Angus Council’s Children and Learning Convener, said: “Congratulations to Michael on his new role as one of Scotland’s Young Ambassadors. We are all incredibly proud of him and I look forward to hearing more about how his role develops and influences other young people.”
Mrs McInally, Headteacher at Monifieth Hgih School, said: “Michael is just back from Brussels having been invited to participate in the European Commission Day of Persons with Disabilities, where he was accompanied by Mrs Olive Wainwright Principal Teacher Additional Support Needs. The school was asked to represent Scotland having been recognised by ES as a school who showed commitment to inclusive practices. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of our staff who works hard to meet a wide range of needs to support our young people.”
As a member of the group, each Ambassador will participate in national meetings, they will share the work of the group in their school and local authority area, and work to take forward the outcomes of national meetings.