Call for urgent review of children’s education needs

Young person

Patchwork provision of education for children with complex needs 

7th May 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Children with additional support needs (ASN) may be missing out on education plans that give them the legal right to certain levels of support. 

Leading providers of children's services have called on the Scottish Government to urgently review how councils are dealing with ASN pupils in light of a drop off in coordinated support plans (CSP). 

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC), representing a coalition of children's charities, said statistics highlight a decline in the number of ASN children, such as those with autism, dyslexia and ADHD, receiving a CSP.

A CSP is the only education plan that is a legal document, and requires services such as education, health and social work to work together to give a child or young person the support they need. It provides guarantees of entitlement to additional resources and legal redress, placing statutory duties on local authorities to review and ensure the provisions contained within it are being met.

A spokesperson for the SCSC said: “It is clearly of some concern that we are experiencing a decline in the use of CSPs, which is to support those with the most complex needs. This is despite an increase in the numbers of those requiring such support. 

“The disparity in those with a CSP in the least and most deprived areas is also worrying. If we are to close the educational gap, it is key that we target those in the most deprived communities. 

“We are also concerned about the disparities that exist between local authorities, which clearly raises concerns about how such a policy is being implemented and a lack of standardisation of who is identified as having ASN and who get a CSP.”

Figures highlight major disparities between local authorities on the numbers of children receiving CSPs. In Falkirk and East Ayrshire 0.1% of ASN pupils have a CSP, amounting to only six pupils, compared with 3.9% in East Renfrewshire and 5.3% in Renfrewshire.