What kind of Edinburgh?

Between August 2018 and March 2019, Children and young people across the city of Edinburgh met with duty-bearers to influence how adults plan and run the city’s services.

Following on from 2017’s Edinburgh Children’s Partnerships project, What Kind of Edinburgh? was delivered by Children’s Parliament in partnership with Young Edinburgh Action, on behalf of City of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Children’s Partnership.


The Edinburgh Children’s Partnership is committed to its principle of listening to and responding to the voices and opinions of children and young people. Making this real through the co-design, delivery and monitoring of its Children’s Services Plan. The City is also looking to the long-term future for citizens and seeking to ensure that Edinburgh is a ‘child-friendly’ city. What Kind of Edinburgh? has provided a model of strategic engagement for adult stakeholders, children and young people; supporting the public bodies who form the Partnership to meet obligations defined in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act (2014).


Children’s Parliament and Young Edinburgh Action facilitated creative sessions to support 24 children and 16 young people’ developing Edinburgh’s children’s services plan.

Adult ‘champion duty-bearers’ were composed of members from:

  • Edinburgh Children’s Partnership Board
  • City of Edinburgh Education, Children and Families Committee
  • Integrated Children and Young People’s Services Board
  • Integrated Children’s Services Management Groups
  • City of Edinburgh Locality Leadership Teams.

Together over a period of 8 months, children, young people, and ‘champion duty-bearers’, engaged in creative processes that facilitated conversations, allowing for children and young people to meaningfully contribute to the City of Edinburgh’s service planning and delivery. The creative programme facilitated an opportunity for champion duty-bearers to work together with children and young people to reflect on the Edinburgh Children’s Services Plan strategic outcomes:

  1. Every child will have the best start in life;
  2. Children and young people’s attendance, engagement and achievement will be improved, and the poverty-related attainment gap will be reduced;
  3. Every child and young person will have good wellbeing and achieve the best possible health;
  4. Equity amongst children and young people and their families will be advanced;
  5. Children and young people, their families and their communities will be empowered to improve their wellbeing.

The children describe the project and their experience of participation in this short film:


A delegation of children and young people presented the What Kind of Edinburgh? outcomes to the Edinburgh Council Education, Children and Families Committee in May 2019 and to the Edinburgh Children’s Partnership Board in June 2019.

The What Kind of Edinburgh? magazine, highlighting the outcomes of the project is now available to everyone working in the City’s children’s services. Direct, tangible and informed action can now be taken by the City of Edinburgh Council to better the lives of children and young people.

A Scottish Government report of the initial Edinburgh Children’s Partnership pilot project is available here: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/model-engagement-children-young-people-planners-development-childrens-services-plans/pages/4/

What kind of Edinburgh? was supported by:

City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian

Date: 2018
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