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Find useful information about the role of different professionals working with children with additional support needs, new policy and guidance, good practice and much more. Use the right hand list to search for previous posts.

ASL Myth: Children attending pre-school or nursery who have additional support needs have the right to a full-time place.

Broadly speaking, all 3 and 4-year-old children have a right to free, part-time, pre-school education at a local authority or partnership nursery (a ‘partnership nursery’ could be a voluntary or private establishment that offers pre-school education through partnership arrangements with the local authority.) Every child is entitled to a total of 475 hours of funded, [read more...]

Andie Couper, Manager at the Ladybird Developmental Group in Lossiemouth, Moray

The Ladybird Group was established in 1985 by the late Dr Iain White and his wife Ann for pre-school children aged 0-5, from Lossiemouth and the surrounding area, who have additional support needs. The centre is managed by a voluntary committee and is registered as a charity in Scotland. The group can care for up to [read more...]

Elinda McClement, Registered Paediatric Nurse working as a Special Education School Nurse

Working to directly support children and young people with complex health needs means that Elinda McClement has a busy and rewarding role, but also means that no two days are the same. Elinda is a Registered Paediatric Nurse working as a Special Education School Nurse, which sees her working autonomously within an Additional Support for [read more...]

ASL Myth: Parents and schools must take part in mediation if they have a disagreement about a child’s additional support needs

Fact:  Mediation is a voluntary process.  A parent, or school or  local authority cannot be forced to take part. Most disagreements about a child’s additional support needs or additional support for learning can be resolved at either school or local authority level. However, if this is not possible, parents, schools or local authorities can request [read more...]

ASL Myth: Parents of children with additional support needs cannot make a placing request to a school outside their own local authority area.

All parents have the right to express a preference for a particular school that they would like their child to attend. Young people (16 to 18 year olds) themselves also have this right. Parents of a child with additional support needs can make a placing request to any local authority run school in Scotland. This [read more...]

Morag Steven, Director of Common Ground Mediation

Although her job title is Director of Common Ground Mediation, Morag’s role is more diverse than that might suggest. As she puts it, “I do a bit of everything!” As Common Ground Mediation provides Additional Support Needs Mediation to eight local authorities under the terms of the ASL Act 2004 as amended, part of Morag’s [read more...]

ASL Myth – Pupils with additional support needs have the right to opt out of modern language classes

There is nothing in education law that sets out what children should be taught by schools, or for how long they should be taught each subject.  The exceptions to this are that Religious education must be taught and also Gaelic in Gaelic speaking areas (Education (Scotland) Act 1980). The Scottish Government, through Education Scotland, issues [read more...]

Nicola McAllister, Education Adviser, SWIIS Foster Care Scotland Ltd

Her role as Education Adviser for SWIIS Foster Care Permanence Service allows Nicola McAllister to support both young people and their carers on a daily basis; work that is challenging but worthwhile. As she explains: “The Permanence Service works with carers who provide a ‘Forever Family’ for children who will never be able to return [read more...]

ASL Myth: A child with additional support needs cannot be excluded from school

A child who has been identified as having additional support needs can be excluded from school but only for one of the following reasons: The school thinks that order and discipline in the school and the education of the other pupils will be badly affected if the child/young person continues to attend. The school thinks [read more...]

Elaine McNee, S.E.N Assistant, Kirn Primary School, Dunoon

Working as a Special Education Needs Assistant means that for Elaine, there are never two days the same. Elaine has been employed at Kirn Primary for the past seven years, having completed three years of training at college. She attended the school as part of her college placement before becoming a member of staff. Elaine is [read more...]

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