Consultation: Children’s Services Planning: Provision of Statutory Guidance

Closed 17 Jun 2019

Opened 25 Mar 2019

Feedback updated 13 Jan 2020

We asked

We sought your views in advance of the next reporting cycle of Children’s Services Plans (April 2020-March 2023) as to whether the content, scope and format of the statutory guidance was still helpful and fit for purpose or whether it should be modified, amended or improved to further enhance and build on the support available.

You said

You provided us with 45 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from individuals, third sector organisations, local government, public bodies, trades unions and health boards.

From analysis of the responses received, it was clear that there was a strong shared commitment from everyone involved to work collaboratively on a multi-agency basis, to improve outcomes and ensure all our children and young people achieve their full potential.

The existing guidance was viewed as helpful, flexible and, in the main, fit for purpose. There were a number of areas where it was felt that some minor changes were required which would enhance the current provision. These included ensuring that it better reflects the evolving planning and policy landscape; is easy to access and understand; and emphasises the value of genuine inclusive multi-agency collaborative working to support the effectiveness and efficiency of plan production and delivery.

We did

We were grateful for all of the responses and the feedback and carefully considered all the suggestions that were made. We published an analysis of the responses to the consultation on 17 September 2019 and this can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

We set out our response to the consultation on 1 October 2019, and this can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

We published a revised Second edition of the statutory guidance on 13 January 2020 and this can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

This revised guidance 

  • Has children’s wellbeing and rights at the heart of it
  • Strengthens the expectation that planning, delivery and ownership of the plan should be multi-agency and in collaboration with children, young people and their families and communities.
  • Has been updated to better reflect the current policy and planning landscape
  • Has been reduced in length in order to make it more succinct.
  • Describes how reviews and evaluation of the Children’s Services Plans will be undertaken

Results updated 13 Jan 2020

A second edition of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Statutory Guidance on Part 3: Children’s Services Planning has been published today. 

This follows careful consideration of the responses to the consultation which ran between 25 March 2019 and 17 June 2019, and consideration of the findings from the consultation analysis which was published on 17 September 2019. We are grateful to all who responded.

The learning from the Children's Services Strategic Engagement Scotland-wide programme of visits to Children's Services Strategic Partners local areas, which ran from 5 October 2018 to 10 June 2019 has also been incorporated within the revised guidance.

Read the second edition of the guidance.


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 set out reforms to the way services for children and young people are designed, delivered and reviewed. As part of the Act, the Scottish Government provided statutory guidance on Part 3, Children’s Services Planning. The duties placed on Local Authorities and Health Boards under this part of the Act included provision of a "Children's Services Plan" be prepared and in place by 1 April 2017.

Local Authorities and Health Boards submitted 3 year plans in 2017, “year one” progress reports during 2018 and will begin the process of planning and collation for the 3 yearly update in advance of the next submition date of March 2020.

The Director, Children and Families and Chief Social Work Advisor have embarked on a program of strategic engagement with all Community Planning Partnerships to discuss the content of the year one reports and learn about local activity being taken to support the aims and ambitions of the Act.

During discussions, the provision and content of the statutory guidance has arisen with the majority of comments being that this is effective and helpful. However, in advance of partners beginning to plan, collate and draft the year 3 reports it is felt that this is an opportune time to formally consult with wider partners on whether the content, scope and format of the statutory guidance is still fit for purpose or whether this should be modified or improved.

Why your views matter

To test whether the exsisting Statutary Guidance provided is still relevent, helpful and fit for purpose and to see whether this needs to be adapted, changed or improved.

Read the consultation paper.

What happens next

Following the consultation period, responses will be collated and analysed. Advice and proposals will be provided to the Minister for Children and Young People to consider any further actions that may be required.


  • Children and Families
  • Education
  • Health and Social Care
  • Work and Skills