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Advice for parents

What rights do parents and carers have?

Parents have a range of specific rights under additional support for learning law. The definition of ‘parent’ goes further than birth parent or anyone with parental responsibilities and parental rights. It includes anyone who cares for the child, which includes anyone they live with. So if a child lives with a foster carer, family member or prospective adopter, that person has the power to ask for the ASL Act to be applied.

You have the right to:

  • have your views listened to and be involved in decisions about your child’s education and support
  • have a supporter or advocate present at meetings about your child’s needs
  • ask your local authority to find out whether your child has additional support for learning needs
  • ask for a specific assessment of your child’s additional support needsThis is the legal definition of additional support needs from the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, as amended. A child or young person has additional support needs...
  • receive information or advice about your child’s additional support needs
  • ask the local authority responsible for your child’s education to find out whether your child requires a co-ordinated support plan (CSP)
  • ask your local authority for a specific assessment to find out if they need a CSP
  • be asked for your views and for them to be taken account in your child’s CSP
  • have the right to use a free independent mediationMediation is a voluntary process during which a neutral third person (a mediator) helps those involved in a disagreement or dispute to work towards an agreement that is acceptable to... service
  • make a referral to the Additional Support Needs TribunalThe Additional Support Needs Tribunal is an independent and expert body that hears and decides appeals (called ‘references’) made by parents and young people in Scotland. The right to make... relating to specific issues
  • make a placing requestA placing request is a formal, recordable request that a parent or young person aged 16 or over can make to a local authority for a place in a school... to a school of your choice including special schools, bases or units
  • appeal against a local authority decision to refuse your placing request
  • request independent adjudicationDisagreements about the support provided for a child can be resolved through independent adjudication when other procedures for resolving disagreements have failed. It involves an independent adjudicator formally reviewing all....

You can:

- order a copy of our Parents' guide to additional support for learning which explains your rights in detail
- explore the other sections of this website to understand how to make use of your specific rights
- talk to your child's head teacher if you feel they are not meeting their duties, providing practical examples if possible.

Contact the Enquire Helpline on 0345 123 2303

Helpline open today 9.00am - 4:30pm.


Enquire’s Parents’ Guide

Our easy to read guide explains you and your child’s rights, local authorities’ duties, what to expect at meetings and much more.