Scottish Borders Council


Client: Scottish Borders Council

Project: Supported self-evaluation of the Youth Commission on Bullying

Scottish Borders Council established the Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying on 1st March 2011 to present evidenced recommendations on the prevention and management of bullying behaviour. These would inform the development of a revised Anti-Bullying Policy Framework for the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning. The Youth Commission adopted a co-production approach.

Scottish Borders Council appointed Northern Star to support the Youth Commission on Bullying’s Advisory Board self-evaluation. The Advisory Board agreed a process of reflection and self-evaluation to:

  • • Review the learning from, and strengths and weaknesses of a co-production approach to policy development within the context of the Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying
  • • Identify areas of impact and added value brought by co-production
  • • Produce a report to present the learning for others


The Advisory Board, itself a group of Councillors, professionals and young people, designed and delivered this evaluation supported by Northern Star. We supported the Advisory Board to:

  • Develop the parameters of the evaluation
  • Decide who they needed to talk to and the questions they would need to ask
  • Draft the report
  • Link the findings to local and national policy and frameworks

Overall there was a positive impact on the Youth Commissioners as a result of their involvement in the Youth Commission. They developed new skills, new friendships and an increased sense of confidence. The challenges they faced as a result of new ways of working often resulted in the development of new skills to meet those challenges.

The distinctiveness of the Youth Commission lies in the adoption of a co-production approach and was characterised by:

  • Recognising people as assets and valuing work differently
  • Promoting reciprocity – mutual trust and a strong partnership between young people and professionals
  • Building social networks.

There are a number of key policy frameworks that both shaped the work of the Youth Commission, and that the Commission delivered against. Key local and national policies and frameworks include:

  • Valuing Young People
  • Curriculum for Excellence and in particular Health & Wellbeing Outcomes
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • National Standards for Community Engagement
  • A National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Children and Young People