Children and Young People

The Children and Young People Team leads on education and children’s services for COSLA.

Its remit covers most aspects of a child’s life from pre-birth through to post 16 education and into the world of work. The team's work includes early years, primary and secondary education; promoting and integrating children’s services; developing effective approaches to children & family social work services; addressing child protection and youth justice issues as well as aspects of employability and child poverty. 

The team works closely with education, economic development, human resource and social work professionals in ADES (Association of Directors of Education)SLAED (Scottish Local Authority Economic Development network), SPDS (Society of Personnel and Development Scotland) and SWS (Social Work Scotland) to develop policy; to respond to and influence legislation and Scottish Government initiatives, and to provide support to elected members on the Education, Children and Young People Thematic Board. 

The Thematic Board is the national political voice of local government on education and children’s services and works to ensure that this voice is heard where it matters the most. Each member Council has one representative on the Board, which meets six times a year. A spokesperson is elected as set out in the COSLA Constitution and also chairs the Thematic Board.


The Children and Young People Spokesperson is Councillor Tony Buchanan.

Main Policy Areas

  • GIRFEC (Getting it Right for Every Child) policy development and implementation
  • Education, including education governance, Curriculum for Excellence, assessment and examinations, attainment and achievement, infrastructure, learning in early years’ settings, post 16 education and additional support for learning
  • Early Learning and Childcare Expansion
  • Integrated children’s services, including those for children with a disability and young carers
  • Children and young people’s health
  • Improving outcomes for Looked After Children in all settings including at home, in foster care, kinship care, residential and secure care, and Corporate Parenting
  • Child protection
  • Children’s hearings and youth justice
  • Child poverty
  • Aspects of employability for young people

Current Work

You can see our latest committee and consultation responses, reports and publications in our document library, and keep up with our day to day work by following our @COSLA_Education on Twitter.

Contact Us

If you have an enquiry please contact us at