Alastair Ramsay from Nairn Academy has been chosen as one of Scotland’s Young Ambassadors for Inclusion.

Alastair Ramsay
Alastair Ramsay, Nairn Academy

Issued by Education Scotland

Alastair was chosen to represent Highlands 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.

Alastair met with his fellow Ambassadors for their first meeting on 8 December where they discussed their experiences of inclusive education and how they have benefited from having the right support in place.

The meeting hosted by Education Scotland also provided the opportunity for Alastair to share his views of the support provided by teachers and classmates, their learning environment, and give their perspective on how additional support for learning can be further improved.

Alastair said: “It is an honour to have been nominated to be part of this initiative as inclusion is something I am really passionate about. Even after only one meeting I can see we all have a lot to offer and I look forward to working with the rest of the ambassadors.”

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 Alastair 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.”

Mrs Julie MacDonald, Headteacher at Nairn Academy, said: “I am delighted that Alastair has been given this opportunity. He is an excellent pupil who has demonstrated great commitment to his studies. He is also part of our school rugby team which helps to ensure he has some time away from his studies as well. This role will give Alastair a chance to share his personal experience and contribute to the wider discussion on aspects of inclusion in schools. Nairn Academy has been very fortunate to benefit from input from external partners including Children Services Worker, Social Services and health which help further our inclusive approach in school.”

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.

Further information about support for learning and inclusive education can be found on the Education Scotland website.

16 Dec 2015