Inquiry launched into Additional Support for Learning

The services that schools and local authorities provide to children and young people with additional support needs will be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People Committee.
More than a third of children and young people in Scotland’s public and grant-maintained schools have an identified additional support need. Working under the direction of the Scottish Government’s policies, local authorities are responsible for identifying, providing and reviewing the additional support needs of children and young people.

The Committee is launching its inquiry with a call for people to share their experiences of how services are provided to people with additional support needs. The Committee is keen to hear from parents, teachers, support staff, carers, pupils themselves and support organisations.

The inquiry will consider how Scottish legislation that aimed to support children and young people, including 2004’s Additional Support for Learning Act, has been implemented and is working in practice.

It is particularly interested in hearing views about the presumption that children and young people should receive a ‘mainstream education’, which aims to ensure they could be included alongside their peers; the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of additional support; and what happens when people are in dispute with their local authority over the services provided to a child or young person.

Sue Webber MSP, Convener of the Education, Children and Young People Committee, said: “Earlier this year, the Additional Support for Learning Project Board told us about its role in improving the support that is available for children with additional support needs, but it acknowledged that there is not a quick fix to the recommendations laid out by the Morgan Review.

“We would like to hear what people with additional support needs, parents and carers, teachers and support organisations make of the current system and the services that local authorities and schools provide.

“If you have experience of accessing additional support for learning in mainstream education or a specialist unit, views on the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of additional support for learning, or have been involved in discussions about the support a child or young person receives, please get in touch.”

The Committee’s call for views, which is now open, will close on 31 December 2023. Variations of the call for views are available in an Easy Read format and British Sign Language.

Find out how to submit your view here.

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