If your child has significant additional support needs they may meet the criteria for a co-ordinated support plan (CSP). Below is some important information you might find helpful when talking to your school or local authority about a CSP.
What is a CSP?
A CSP is a detailed plan of how your child’s support will be provided. It is a legal document which aims to ensure all the professionals who are helping your child work together. It also helps ensure that everyone, including you and your child, are involved in the support.
By law local authorities must have arrangements to identify children and young people who have additional support and may need a CSP. They have a legal duty to open a CSP for any child who needs one and to keep it updated
A CSP is prepared for children or young people whose school education is the responsibility of a local authority and who
- need support due to complex or multiple factors that adversely and significantly affect their school education
- have needs that are likely to last for more than a year, and
- need significant additional support from the local authority and other “appropriate agencies” (such as health or social work services)
How do I ask for a CSP?
You can ask your local authority directly, or go through your child’s school. We suggest you talk to your child’s school first. You should also put your request for your child to be considered for a CSP in writing for future reference. This could be a letter, email, video or audio recording.
How long does it take to open a CSP?
It should take no longer than 16 weeks for the education authority to prepare your child’s CSP. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, if the education authority has asked another agency such as health for help and they have not replied in time or if the agreement to open a CSP is made near the school holidays, it may not be possible to complete it within 16 weeks. If there is a delay, the education authority must tell you and set a new date for the opening of the CSP. Whatever happens, the time spent preparing the plan should not be more than 24 weeks.
Should I be involved in preparing my child’s CSP?
Yes. When a CSP is being prepared the education authority should ask you and your child for your views, as well as collect information from relevant professionals. You may be asked to attend meetings to discuss the content of the draft plan.
Will I get a copy of my child’s CSP?
Yes. You should be given a copy. If you don’t have a copy ask the school for one. The CSP is a confidential document. Only the education authority, the school, you and your child if over 16, will have a copy of it. It will be available to the team working with your child.
What can I do if my local authority decides not to open a CSP for my child?
You have the right to appeal a decision about a CSP to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals (ASNT). If you are thinking making an appeal (called ‘a reference’) you can find more information about how to do this on their website. The Scottish Government also provide an advocacy service called Lets Talk ASN to support families through Tribunal proceedings. You can find their contact details here.
Your education authority can also provide you with information on how to make a reference.
If you have any questions about CSPs, get in touch with our helpline on 0345 123 2303.