Statement: Commissioner raises concerns with Scottish Government about rights impact of Health and Wellbeing Survey

The Commissioner has raised concerns with the Scottish Government that not enough consideration has been given to the human rights of young people being asked to complete its Health and Wellbeing Survey.   

The Commissioner said: “Any survey conducted in schools needs to be administered using an approach that respects young people’s rights, including their right to privacy and right to give informed consent. We are concerned that the survey collects the pupil’s  Scottish Candidate Number and young people need to be made aware that this may allow them to be identified.   

“Young people should have their rights clearly communicated to them in advance, including the key information that their participation is not compulsory. Young people and their families need to be involved in the design and delivery of such information gathering. It is important that teachers know how to manage any issues that may arise as a result of wellbeing questions being asked in school.   

“A number of local authorities have also raised concerns which calls into question the effectiveness of this method of processing the survey.  The Scottish Government should pause the rolling out of this survey until it can address the concerns raised and ensure a rights compliant process.”  

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