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Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act implementation

On 14 November the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act will come into force and change the way in which children and young people’s educational support is identified, planned and recorded. 

Key changes

  • Replacement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) with additional support needs
  • Introduction of new duties on education authorities and other agencies.
  • Measures to improve integrated working
  • Greater rights for parents and young people along with provisions for avoiding and resolving disputes
  • Introduction of co-ordinated support plan (CSP)

What are additional support needs?

The term additional support needs has a far broader definition than SEN and refers to any barrier to learning.  A child or young person will have additional support needs if they require extra input in order to “benefit from school education”. 

The introduction of the duty on authorities to identify and make “adequate and efficient” provision for all individuals with additional support needs will give far more robust legal rights to these children and young people.  This will also apply to far more children and young people including many who do not fall within the SEN system but do have additional support needs as defined by the new law.  There will be new duties on agencies other than education and this should help to ensure that where support is needed from health, social work and others, this is delivered and co-ordinated.

Plan for implementation

Since the Act was passed in April 2004 work has been on-going to ensure effective implementation of the Act.

  • Consultation and publication of Code of Practice and regulations
  • Implementation officers appointed in each local authority
  • Series of implementation seminars and meetings held throughout 2004 and 2005
  • Training pack being developed by Scottish Executive
  • Enquire parent's guide to the system due for distribution in November

Further Information

Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act

Code of Practice

Enquire (national advice service for additional support needs)

Additional support for learning implementation newsletters

Additional Support Needs Network