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Additional Support for Learning Review: What we said

In January 2019, the Scottish Government announced a review of the implementation of additional support for learning in schools. The Review will look at how additional support for learning works in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.

What will the ASL Review cover?

The Scottish Government said the Review will be:

“founded on a continued commitment to a presumption to mainstreaming and on the need to ensure that children and young people’s additional support needs are met.

Chair of the Review, Angela Morgan, was keen to hear from school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents, carers as well as children and young people. She was particularly interested in hearing examples of where things work well. She said  “If you’ve had a difficult time, what by contrast has made the difference? What would you like to see more of or less of?  Where should we best focus efforts for positive change?”

Enquire’s response

Enquire staff met with Angela Morgan in October 2019 and submitted a written response to the Review to share the issues parents and carers often tell us they find frustrating or challenging including:

  • The tensions between what additional support for learning legislation says should happen and the realities faced by families when trying to get the right support for their child.
  • The lack of accountability when parents and carers feel a school or local authority is not meeting their duties under additional support for learning legislation.
  • The pressure on school budgets which result in support not being available to meet children’s needs.
  • Support not being provided consistently or unplanned changes being made to children’s support without discussion with families.
  • A lack of understanding of children’s additional needs and the impact these have on learning and behavior.
  • Challenges in building positive relationships with schools and local authorities.
  • Concerns about the suitability of school placements for some children with additional support needs.
  • Children being out of school as a result of the lack of appropriate support or unsuitable school placement.
  • Lack of learning and support when children are unable to attend school.
  • Concerns about schools’ responses to children’s behavior including inappropriate use of seclusion.
  • The stress for families of waiting for decisions about school placement and the impact Placing Request timescales have on transition planning.

Download our full response here (9 pages): ASL Review response 181219

We also highlighted the importance of parents and carers having independent advice and information about their and their children’s rights and the difference knowing about Enquire has made for families:

“Enquire made a super difference supporting my family. When I hit a brick, wall Enquire was there for help and support.” (Parent who contacted Enquire)

“The information was crucial in knowing what I should do to get the help my child needed. So grateful that Enquire provide this valuable service.” (Parent who contacted Enquire)

The Additional Support for Learning Review report is expected later in the spring. We will share the report widely once it has been published.

For advice and information about additional support for learning visit the parents section of this website. 

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