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The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 & 2009: Consultation on Changes to the Secondary Legislation and Supporting Children's Learning Code of Practice

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Covering Letter

Schools Directorate
Support for Learning Division

T: 0131-244 0946
E: susan.gilroy@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

28 September 2009

Dear Consultee

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 & 2009: consultation on changes to the secondary legislation and supporting children's learning code of practice

This letter is to inform you of the launch of the consultation on changes to secondary legislation and supporting children's learning code of practice which support The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 & 2009. You can access the consultation documents and on-line consultation response forms at:www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/05090858

The Scottish Government is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. In order to be environmentally sensitive, we have not published hard copies of the consultation papers due to the volume of the draft revised supporting children's learning code of practice . It is envisaged that hard copies of the finalised code will be distributed prior to the commencement of the new legislation which is scheduled for autumn 2010.

We are inviting on-line and written responses to this to this consultation paper by 8 January 2010. If you have any queries about this consultation, please contact Jonathan Ferguson (Email: Jonathan.ferguson@scotland.gsi.go.uk; telephone 0131 244 1503)

Background

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 (referred to here as 'the 2009 Act') was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 20 May 2009 and received Royal Assent on 25 June 2009. The main provisions of the 2009 Act and the effects that it has on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (the 2004 Act) relate to the following:

  • Placing requests and placing request appeals
  • Mediation services
  • Dispute resolution
  • Contributions not recoverable under section 23 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 in respect of certain services
  • Arrangements between education authorities
  • Definition of 'additional support'
  • Assessment and examination
  • Looked after children
  • Duties in relation to certain pre-school children with additional support needs
  • Provision on advocacy service
  • Provision of published information to certain persons
  • Availability of published information
  • Publication of information on dispute resolution
  • Power to specify additional sources of information
  • Post-school transitions - seeking the child's views
  • References to the Tribunal in relation to co-ordinated support plans
  • Failure to comply with post-school transition duties to be referred to the Tribunal
  • Power to make rules in respect of Tribunal practice and decision
  • Power to monitor the implementation of Tribunal decision
  • Availability of information on additional support needs
  • Collection of data on additional support needs

Changes to the secondary legislation and supporting children's learning code of practice

As a result of the 2009 Act and practice in light of experience, changes are now required to the secondary legislation, including:

  • The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2006;
  • The Additional Support for Learning (Co-ordinated support plan) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005; and
  • The Additional Support for Learning Dispute Resolution (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

In addition, a new order will be introduced to enable the Scottish Ministers to specify the persons from whom parents and young people can obtain further advice, information and support in relation to the provision for additional support needs, including support and advocacy services as referred to in section 14 of the 2004 Act. Authorities will be under a duty to publish information as to those persons.

Changes are also required to the supporting children's learning code of practice to reflect the changes contained in the 2009 Act and the secondary legislation.

You can access information on all of the proposed changes to the secondary legislation and the supporting children's learning code of practice on the Scottish Government website: www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/05090858

Responding to this consultation paper

We would be grateful if you would use the on-line consultation questionnaires which you can access at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/05090858 or could clearly indicate in your written response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.

This consultation, and all other Scottish Government consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.

The Scottish Government now has an email alert system for consultations ( SEconsult: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/seconsult.aspx ). This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). SEconsult complements, but in no way replaces SG distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SG consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.

Handling your response

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form which forms part of the on-line consultation response and can be accessed at the beginning of each part of the online questionnaire. Alternatively, for written responses, you can access a copy of the form at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/05090858. This will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library.(see the attached Respondent Information Form), these will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library by [12 February 2010] and on the Scottish Government consultation web pages by 12 February 2010]. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SG Library on 0131 244 4552. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.

What happens next?

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us reach a decision on the changes required to the secondary legislation and supporting children's learning code of practice. We aim to issue a report on this consultation process by 19 February 2010.

Scottish Government consultation process

Annex A provides further information on the Scottish Government consultation process.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to :

Name: Jonathan Ferguson
Address: Support for Learning, The Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Leith, EH6 6QQ
E-mail: jonathan.ferfuson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or asl.consultation@soctland.gsi.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Susan Gilroy signature

Susan Gilroy
Additional Support for Learning in Schools Team

Annex A

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION PROCESS

Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Government working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Government, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general, Scottish Government consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

The Scottish Government encourages consultation that is thorough, effective and appropriate to the issue under consideration and the nature of the target audience. Consultation exercises take account of a wide range of factors, and no two exercises are likely to be the same.

Typically Scottish Government consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue, and they are also placed on the Scottish Government web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. Consultation exercises may also involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as through public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises. Copies of all the written responses received to a consultation exercise (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are placed in the Scottish Government library at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4565).

All Scottish Government consultation papers and related publications (eg, analysis of response reports) can be accessed at: Scottish Government consultations ( http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations)

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.