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Children’s Hearings Scotland has extended its training contract with West Lothian College.

The college will continue to provide training to our 3,000 volunteers through the Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) Learning Academy until October 2022.

Children’s Hearings Scotland’s National Convener and Chief Executive Elliot Jackson said: “Training our Panel Members to make decisions that support children and young people is an essential function of Children’s Hearing Scotland. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with West Lothian College that will see continuity of high quality training for our volunteer community.

“Over the past three years, we have trained around 1,700 new Panel Members and supported the ongoing development of over 3,000 volunteer Panel and Area Support Team members. This last year or so has also seen our Learning Academy support our volunteer community as they transitioned to virtual hearings. And, together with West Lothian College we have delivered our first, fully online, highly rated, SQA Professional Development Award for over 700 trainee Panel Members.”

The CHS Learning Academy will continue to help us deliver the change that has been asked of us by children, young people and families through our commitment to The Promise. We want to ensure that our learning environment is informed by people with lived experience; that it is trauma informed with a rights based approach that supports relationships and decision making within children’s hearings.

Our CHS Learning Academy offers learning and development that supports Panel and Area Support Team members across Scotland. It ensures that Panel Members are fully equipped to make the best possible decisions in hearings, placing the rights and voice of children and young people at the centre of every hearing. It also provides training for Area Support Team members, including Panel Practice Advisors, who observe and provide feedback on Panel Members practice to ensure high quality decisions in every hearings.

Jackie Galbraith, Principal and Chief Executive at West Lothian College adds: “I am delighted that West Lothian College will continue to offer high quality training to over 3,000 volunteer Panel and Area Support Team members across Scotland.

“Our excellent trainers provide high quality learning through the CHS Learning Academy and adapted magnificently to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic by designing excellent virtual learning experiences.

“West Lothian College has delivered training to the CHS Panel community for many years. As a college committed to embedding trauma responsive practice into everything we do, we are proud to play our part in delivering The Promise by continuing to support CHS volunteers through high quality training.”