Liam Steel, Drummond Community High School, Edinburgh

Liam Steel from Drummond Community High School, Edinburgh has been chosen as one of Scotland’s Young Ambassadors for Inclusion.

Liam was chosen to represent Edinburgh 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.

Liam 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 Liam 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.

Liam, said: “I’ve always felt that Drummond Community High School has supported me and made me feel valued. I am really honoured to be an Inclusion Ambassador because it’s giving me the opportunity to help other young people around the country and to allow them to feel cared for and supported.”

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 Liam 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.”

Susan Cook, Headteacher at Drummond Community High School, said: “Promoting an inclusive learning environment for all young people at Drummond Community High School is paramount to ensuring all young people achieve their potential. We are very proud of Liam Steel being selected to represent the school and the City of Edinburgh as a Young Ambassador for Inclusion. We are confident Liam’s input will make a difference to the future support of all young people and enable them to develop the skills for success in life, learning and work.”

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.