Average per-pupil spending on additional support for learning in Scotland was £3,393 in 2017-18. Data detailing spending on additional support for learning is collected from local authorities via the Local Financial Returns (LFR). This figure shows gross revenue expenditure on additional support for learning in primary, secondary and special education from the local financial returns (£621,436, as provided in S5W-15037 on 15 March 2018), divided by the number of pupils identified as having additional support needs recorded in the 2017 Pupil Census (http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/dspupcensus).
As highlighted in the answer to questions S5W-21804 there are issues around the quality of this data. This means that accurate comparisons between local authorities and between years cannot be made. A lack of consistency in how local authorities have broken down the information to primary, secondary and special categories means that this data does not consistently represent the levels of spending in different categories of schools in local authorities. This data also cannot capture the full detail of the support provided to pupils, as a result of provision made for the whole pupil population, from which children and young people with additional support needs also benefit.
We recognise the challenge facing authorities and that decisions about prioritisation and budgets, including those for the provision of services for pupils with additional support needs, are a matter for individual councils, balancing their need to meet a wide range of statutory duties, local priorities and local circumstances. Local Government Financial Statistics for 2017-18 showed that local authorities spent £628 million was spent on additional support for learning – increasing from £610 million in 2016-17 – a 0.9% increase in real terms (2.9% in cash terms).
All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .