Tam Baillie

Speaker Photo

Speaker Topics

  • Youth Justice
  • Young Carers
  • Pupil Voice
  • Play
  • Participation methodologies for engaging children and young people
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Looked After Children/Carers
  • Leadership
  • Education & Looked after Children
  • Early Years & Childrens Centres
  • Closing the Acheivement Gap
  • Childrens Services
  • Children's rights
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Child Protection
  • Child Poverty
  • Adolescence


Tam is a very experienced practitioner with vulnerable young people who has applied this to policy development and national strategic improvements. Tam is in high demand for speaking and facilitating engagements, involving over 7000 people each year. Tam has spoken in Canada, Romania, France, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands

In the initial stages his career Tam spent more than 20 years as a practitioner working with young people involved in the juvenile justice system, substance and alcohol misuse and those who are in and leaving care. He worked with young homeless people through managing accommodation and outreach street-work services. For the past 15 years Tam has been operating in positions influencing national and international policy, most recently through EU, Council of Europe and UN structures, particularly in respect of children’s rights and the UNCRC.

Tam has been a manager and leader of staff for over 30 years, including raising necessary finances for developing services in various settings. Tam has extensive experience in dealing with national and local politicians and senior civil servants and all aspects of media engagement.

Tam’s experience in in educational achievement is through research demonstrating how the participation of children and young people in their learning can contribute to increased overall achievement in schools and reduce the attainment gap between rich and less affluent pupils.

Tam’s time as Commissioner saw the development of innovative approaches to children’s participation through the creation of the ‘7 Golden Rules of Participation’ (30,000+ copies distributed in the UK and beyond) and conducted the largest ever consultation with children and young people in Scotland (A Right Blether - 74,059 involved), with a further 12,771 children under five years involved in ‘a right wee blether’. Tam has developed knowledge and expertise in early years development, domestic abuse and children with disabilities.

Current Positions Held

Children and Young People Commissioner Scotland

Personal Achievements and Awards

2012-2016 European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (Chair 2014-15)

2008 & 2017 Reporting to UNCRC Committee on the implementation of children’s
rights in UK influencing the Committee’s Concluding Observations

2003-2009 Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights (Chair 2007-09)

2008-2009 Committee member of BBC Children in Need, Scotland

Relevant Career and Professional Background

2009 – 2017 Commissioner for Children and Young People Scotland

2003 – 2009 Director of Policy and Influencing, Barnardo’s Scotland

1999 – 2003 Leaving Care Partnership Manager, Glasgow Alliance

1979 – 1999 Practice experience with young offenders, young care leavers, homeless and roofless young people in Scotland and England

Additional Information

Typical feedback:

“Tam Baillie – inspirational”

“Very informative and knowledgeable speaker”

“Great speaker, informative content”

“Good to hear that our children’s voices are being heard and that we are exploring many ways for children to communicate.”

“You really inspired our students with your uplifting, motivating and completely grounded talk."

"I found your speech very engaging and inspirational; I know others did."

"You impressed with your passion for children's rights."

For availability or to book this speaker please email enquiries@slaterbaker.com or call 07595 820211 / 07919 216280