Strengthening support for learning
Independently-chaired review calls for views.
Parents of children with additional support needs are being asked to share their experiences of schools as part of a new review.
Their feedback, along with views from pupils and teachers, will be used to enhance how additional support for learning is delivered in classrooms.
Angela Morgan, former Chief Executive of Includem, will chair the review. She will consider the quality of existing provision for pupils with additional support needs, how this is implemented in schools and where current use of resources could be enhanced.
Parents will be able to share their views directly via email and through a series of face to engagements planned for later in the year.
Findings will be submitted to the Scottish Government and COSLA by the end of February 2020.
Ms Morgan said:
“I want to hear directly from children and young people, their parents and practitioners about their experiences of additional support for learning, including what we are doing well and where we can improve.
“I am pleased to have been asked to take on the role of leading this review. Additional support for learning upholds a key principle of Scotland's vision for all our young people – that they have the right to be included, to learn and achieve to their full potential.
“This review is an opportunity to look at how additional support for learning is implemented in practice and identify areas where good practice should be shared or strengthened.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Through listening to the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs, their families and those who support them, we recognise we need to do more to enhance their experience at school.
“We have recently confirmed approximately 1,000 extra pupil support assistants will be recruited in this academic year.
“We will use the findings of Angela Morgan’s review to build on our progress in this area in ensuring our pupils are getting the appropriate support they need to reach their full learning potential.”
Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Spokesperson for Children and Young People said:
“COSLA welcomes the review of Additional Support for Learning and the focus on how this is implemented in schools, and the appointment of Angela Morgan as the independent Chair.
“Local Authorities are fully committed to all our children receiving a full and inclusive education. COSLA and our member Councils will provide any support we can to aid Angela throughout the review. We look forward to considering any recommendations made to COSLA, our member councils and Scottish Government.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has appointed Angela Morgan as chair of the review and she will report jointly to Scottish Ministers and COSLA.
Parents, teachers and carers will be able to submit their feedback directly to Ms Morgan via email: ChairASLindependentreview@outlook.com
Further guidance for those wishing to submit their feedback is available online.
The remit of the review is to consider: the implementation of additional support for learning, across early learning and childcare centres, primary, secondary and special schools (including enhanced provision, services and units)
- where children and young people learn within the balance of provision set out above, recognising that not all authority areas have all of those provisions
- the quality of learning and support for children and young people, including overall achievement of young people and positive destinations achieved post-school
- approaches to planning and assessment to meet the needs of children and young people
- clarity of roles and responsibilities of support staff, teaching staff, leadership role, education authorities and national agencies
- areas of practice which could be further enhanced through better use of current resources to support practice, staffing or other issues aspects of provision
Ms Morgan was born in London and has spent over half her life in Scotland. After social work training at the University of London she decided to pursue her profession in the third sector; initially in mental health (in Scotland with SAMH) and later working with children and young people.
She was the Chief Executive of Includem until 2018, and has remained involved in a range of, mostly voluntary activity focused on improving lives. She is a member of the workforce journey group for the Independent Care Review.