Issues aimed at improving life chances for children discussed by councillors

Elected members have been discussing ways in which the life chances of children and young people could be improved.

Chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee George Smith said there was a “strong theme of preventative work” on the seven-item agenda discussed by councillors on Monday.

Much of the discussion focused on an update on early learning and childcare.

A report by ELC’s quality improvement officer Samantha Flaws showed a £91,000 cut in ring-fenced funding for the ambitious expansion of hours from 600 to 1,140.

George Smith:

The report states the money has been “baselined” and is now included in the general revenue grant.

Positive inspection reports for nurseries at Lunnasting and Mossbank also went before the committee.

Members also heard of recommendations for a new-build residential care centre for looked after children and young people.

The investment proposal has been designed in response to a hike in demand for residential care due to changes in legislation.

The aim is to reduce reliance on care settlements outside of the isles.

Members were also given the first annual report highlighting an integrated children’s plan, which reflects widespread aims to “build a brighter future” for Shetland’s children and young people, while a five-year strategy for domestic abuse and sexual violence was also discussed.


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