Our work so far
From February- May 2017 the Education and Skills Committee looked at school education. We asked lots of people for their views on Additional Support Needs and, because of what we have heard, we carried out a short inquiry on this issue.
The Committee wanted to assess progress against its inquiry recommendations since the report published in 2017. This review took place in late February and March.
A child or young person is said to have additional support needs if they need more or different support than what is normally provided in school. We know this is a very broad term, covering a large number of children and young people in Scotland who all have specific requirements for support in school. The call for views was sent to to lots of people and organisations who had different things to share.
Further scrutiny in 2019
The Committee heard evidence over two meetings and a focus group in February and March 2019.
The Committee received responses from some Local Authorities to a letter sent to the Directors of Education in December 2018 with questions regarding classroom support staff, these responses also form part of the papers.
The Committee held a focus group on 20 February 2019. The attendees included parents, young people, individuals and organisations involved with additional support needs.
27 February 2019
The Committee heard evidence on Additional Support Needs. The Committee has received a number of submissions from teaching staff, parents, academics and organisation these are in a pack as part of the papers for meeting.
View the meeting on the 27 February 2019 here.
6 March 2019
The second meeting was held on the 6 March 2019
View the meeting on the 6 March 2019 here
After hearing evidence and receiving a high number of submissions the link to the report for the Additional Support Needs inquiry is below.
A quick read document of the report is below, this is a summarized document which contains the main points of the report and the recommendations.
Responses To Report
Read the responses to the 'How is Additional Support For Learning working in practice?' report.
The Scottish Government agreed to undertake research in response to the Committee’s report. The Cabinet Secretary wrote on 30 October 2018 on progress with this work
The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Convener advising that the Governments research has been published along with Guidance for the Local Authorities on the Presumption to provide education in a mainstream setting and Additional Support for Learning: implementation in 2017-2018.
The report Not Included, Not Engaged, Not Involved referred to in the letter is available here
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in response to the letter of the 26 March from the Scottish Government, which sets out the recent and planned work in relation to the presumption to mainstream and also to raise points with the Scottish Government on key issues raised during the evidence sessions in February and March 2019.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the level of support available for Children and Young People with additional support needs. The Conveners letter, the reponse from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the response from Chief Statistician are below.
The Convener wrote to the Directors of Education regarding the its letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in which the Committee has raised concerns about the ability to know how many school support staff are working specifically employed to support those with additional support needs.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in relation to Additional support needs baseline data and funding as part of the budget scrutiny.
The Committee received a copy of a letter from Ross Greer MSP to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding statistics on classroom support staff.
The Deputy Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the statistics on classroom support staff and regarding the letter from Ross Greer MSP.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Convener to update the Committee on the continued work on the recommendations from the attainment of pupils with a sensory impairment report.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Committee to give an update on the progress of the Additional Support for Learning research.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, COSLA and the SLGP for a response to the recommendations in the 'How is Additional Support for Learning working practice?' report
The Deputy First Minister wrote to the Convener regarding a consultation period on mainstream guidance.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding Scottish Governments response to the Committees report on Additional Support for Learning and asking for timescales for the Independent research.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the draft Supporting Children’s Learning: Statutory Guidance on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act 2004 (as amended) Code of Practice (Third Edition) 2017.
The Committee invited comments on Additional Support Needs and received a high number of submissions. Those submissions are collected in a document below.
The Committee held a number of focus groups in February.
The Committee received the following late submission in response to evidence heard.
The Committee received a letter from COSLA and ADES
The Committee received a submission from the Scottish Goverment statisticians regarding school support staff
The Committee held a round-table on Additional Support Needs on 1 March 2017 and took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills on a number of topic including Additional Support Needs on 8 March 2017.
Thr Committee heeard evidence from the Scottish Government Statisticians on the availability of information on school support staff data.
The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the level of support available for Children and Young People with additional support needs.
Attainment of Pupils with a Sensory Impairment
In December 2018 the Committee sought updates from the Government and stakeholders in relation to its predecessor Committee’s recommendations from the 2015 report:
The Committee considered the Scottish Government’s progress report on its work towards report recommendations.
The Committee also considered submissions from Royal Blind and the National Deaf Children’s Society.
The Committee received a follow up briefing from the National Deaf Children's Society Scotland (NDCS) on the attainment gap in education.
Other organisations and individuals are welcome to contribute their perspectives. This work will also feed into future work on additional support for learning planned by the Committee.