Friday 5 May saw a very special assembly at Sciennes. We were honoured and delighted to welcome back Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland to speak with the pupils. Bruce’s job over the last six years has been to represent and advocate for the rights of a million Scottish young people, throughout the country. He explained that the articles in the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) are each ‘promises’ from the government and trusted adults (duty bearers) to meet children’s needs. He spent time asking the children which rights they knew and why they were important to them. Everyone was very impressed by the children’s strong understanding of rights and Bruce was very interested to hear their views on these. It was really touching to see Bruce’s daughter Isla participate and emotional because it was Bruce’s last school visit before his tenure as CYPCS’ ends in mid-May. The post can only be held for six years before the baton is handed on to a new CYPCs and it was announced recently this will be Nicola Killean.

Andrew thanked Bruce on behalf of not only Sciennes’ children, but all Scottish children everywhere for his dedicated endeavours and outstanding achievements in post. A true champion of children’s rights. Joined by his colleagues, Ezmie and Gillian, we are grateful for his very kind gift of sensory stress toys for all the pupils and for all his support for the school over the last six years.

Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, leaves the role next month when his six-year mandate comes to an end. Today, the Scottish Parliament announced Nicola Killean has been selected for nomination as the next Commissioner. 

Mr Adamson said: “I’m delighted by the selection of Nicola Killean as the nominee as the next Children and Young People’s Commissioner. She is an outstanding nominee who brings incredible passion and expertise to the role. 

“Our Young Advisors were part of the recruitment process, and they have a welcome message for the new Commissioner: ‘The Commissioner has such an important role in ensuring that children and young people have their rights upheld. We’re excited to see what change you bring, what ideas you implement, and what you do for children and young people of Scotland’. 

“As the fourth Commissioner, Ms Killean will continue an amazing legacy started by Professor Kathleen Marshall 19 years ago and continued by Tam Baillie and the team in the Commissioner’s office. 

It has been the greatest privilege of my professional life to be part of this incredible work. Passing the baton over after six years in the role will be hard but I’m excited to see Nicola and the team continue to champion children’s rights. 

“Ms Killean will start later this year, and once I demit office on 17 May, Nick Hobbs, our Head of Advice and Investigations, will be Acting Commissioner. Nick is a brave defender of human rights and has led our work on, among many other things, strategic litigation, restraint and seclusion, refugee and asylum issues, and the rights of children in the justice system. He will do an excellent job and I am delighted for him.

“Scotland has world-leading legislation, and the new Commissioner inherits a committed team and will be part of an incredible group of human rights defenders in Scotland whose expertise is recognised globally. I’ll spend the final few weeks in the role continuing to challenge the Scottish Government on vital issues like putting children’s rights in law, poverty, and involving young people in decision-making. I’ll be visiting children across the country to say goodbye and to thank them for the incredible role they play in defending human rights. 

“Being Children and Young People’s Commissioner is the best job in the world. I have long held dear a child’s words to me and I pass them on now to Nicola for the next six-years: ‘Stand tall. Be brave. Think big. Believe’.”

CYPCS website