Scots set for children’s commissioner

AN independent commissioner to represent children is set to be appointed, with the Scottish Executive expected to announce official support for the idea today.

Education minister Cathy Jamieson was due to back calls by backbench MSPs for the post to be established.

Members of Holyrood’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee proposed a Bill to appoint a Children’s Commissioner in a report published last month.

The Commissioner would promote an awareness of the rights of youngsters, launch research and make recommendations on current practice relating to young people.

A spokesman for the education minister said: "We said at the time of the report that we were broadly sympathetic to the committee’s views.

"We will continue to give the thumbs-up to the idea and focus on what we see as the main areas which the remit of the Commissioner should consider."

In its report, the committee claimed that the proposed office of an independent Children’s Commissioner is unique as no other organisation would have such a wide scope and legal status.

Children up to age 18 would fall within the Commissioner’s remit and he or she would have the power to carry out investigations into how the rights, interests and views of youngsters are taken into account.