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Coronavirus and additional support for learning

Understanding what the coronavirus changes mean for children with additional support needs in Scotland

We want to help you to understand how the law and guidance has changed during Scotland’s response to the coronavirus and what these changes may mean for children with additional support needs.

This part of our website provides:

  • information on how coronavirus has affected the law and guidance on providing additional support for learning, and what this means for you and your child
  • what you can do if you are struggling to get support for your child’s learning, both when learning at home and in school
  • information about where you may be able to find resources and services that can help
  • links to local authority information so you can find out what the plans are for your area and school or nursery.

It is likely that further changes will be made to the laws and guidance around education and additional support for learning as Scotland moves through different phases in responding to coronavirus. We will be updating our coronavirus webpages on an ongoing basis, so please come back to our website regularly and check our social media for updates. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Our website for children and young people, Reach, has lots of information and advice for your child about their learning and support during coronavirus which is also updated regularly.

Enquire is here to listen and help. Please contact our helpline if you have any questions about additional support for learning or want to discuss how these changes may affect your child’s education and support.

In this section, we will explain how the laws and guidance on education and additional support for learning have changed during the initial stages of Scotland’s response to the coronavirus, including during lockdown and the school closures.

The Coronavirus Act (passed on 26th March 2020) gives official powers to the Scottish Government to tell local authorities, schools and nurseries how they should provide education, early learning and childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes things like providing critical childcare for children of key workers and some other children, and setting out how they should be planning for the reopening of schools.

The Scottish Government have also made some changes to the law to allow local authorities to adapt the way they usually do things, and to extend deadlines so they have longer than normal to respond to requests.
The following sections give you more information about what the changes during lockdown and the school closures mean for…

During the lockdown phase and school closures, most children and young people have not been in school and have been learning at home. While Scotland responds to the coronavirus, learning at home is going to remain a part of life for children and young people with additional support needs.

When the schools reopen (this is currently expected to be on the 11 August 2020) learning at home will continue to be a significant part of children and young people’s education. This is because pupils will be returning to school as part of a ‘blended model’ of learning, spending some time in school and some time supporting their school learning at home. Some pupils will also continue to do all their learning at home, if they are at a very high risk from coronavirus and need to stay at home.

Below you can find advice, resources and suggestions for where you can find help to support your child’s learning at home.

The Scottish Government has set out a framework for how they will respond to coronavirus over the coming months, including how and when schools should reopen. The details of how this will work in your area will be decided by your local authority and school. This is because different areas and schools will have different things to consider, including the size of each school and how pupils travel to and from school.

Schools and local authorities should be doing their best to update parents on local developments and plans for your child’s education and support. It may be helpful to start by looking at your local authority’s website for updates if you are not sure what is happening in your area. If your child’s school has a website or newsletter it may be helpful to check these too. If you are not able to find the information you are looking for, get in touch with the school but remember that they may not have all the answers at the moment while they are still putting together their plan.

  • Thanks for your feedback. It helps us to know the information parents are looking for about additional support for learning.

Contact the Enquire Helpline on 0345 123 2303

Our telephone helpline is open 1pm-4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Visit our Contact page to get in touch by email.

Resources/Advice for Young People/

Reach is our website for young people offering advice on learning and support during coronavirus.

Visit site