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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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Consultation Paper No 5

EDUCATION (ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR LEARNING) (SCOTLAND) ACT 2009 (the 2009 Act)

Changes to the supporting children's learning code of practice (the code)

CONSULTATION PAPER NO 5.

1. INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 ("the 2004 Act") provides the legal framework which underpins the system for identifying and addressing the additional support needs of children and young people who face a barrier to learning. The 2004 Act aims to ensure that all children and young people are provided with the necessary support to help them work towards achieving their full potential. It also promotes collaborative working among all those supporting children and young people and sets out parents' rights within the system. The 2004 Act has been subsequently amended by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 ("the 2009 Act").

2. LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

Section 27 of the 2004 Act requires the Scottish Ministers to publish a code of practice giving guidance on the exercise by education authorities and appropriate agencies of their functions under the Act. Subsection (2) lists topics which a code of practice may include. Before a code, or revised code, is published, the Scottish Ministers must consult all education authorities and agencies and anyone else they think appropriate, and they must take account of any comments by Parliament on the draft code.

Section 27 of the 2004 Act provides that education authorities and appropriate agencies, such as NHS Boards, are under a duty to have regard to the code when carrying out their functions under the Act. .

3. PURPOSE OF THE REVISED CODE

The revised code replaces the original code of practice published in 2005 in order to take account of the 2009 Act. It explains the duties on education authorities and other agencies to support children's and young people's learning. It provides guidance on the provisions of the 2004, as amended by the 2009 Act, as well as on the supporting framework of secondary legislation. The code uses the term "the Act" to include, where appropriate, the secondary legislative provisions and includes features of good practice on how these can be applied. It also sets out arrangements for avoiding and resolving differences between families and authorities.

The guidance contained in the revised code is considered against a background of authorities' and agencies' evolving approaches to assessment and intervention. In particular, it reflects the values and principles to be found in Curriculum for Excellence and the development of the national programme Getting it right for every child involving those working with children and young people across all agencies. It also draws on the definition of assessment to be found in the national programme.

4. PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CODE

You can view the proposed revised code of practice at:

While all of the chapters in the code have been revised, chapters 4 (new chapter), 5, 6 and 9 are considered to contain the most changes.

Chapter 1

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It summarises the main provisions of the Act, although it should be noted that it does cover the entire Act.

Q1. Do you agree that chapter 1 provides a balanced overview of the main provisions of the Act?

Q2. If you do not agree with Q1, please state your reasons why.

Q3 Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 1?

Chapter 2

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It considers the meaning of the terms 'additional support needs' and 'additional support' and considers the factors that may give rise to additional support needs.

Q4. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 2?

Q5. If you are not content with Q4, please tell us why.

Q6. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 2?

Chapter 3

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It sets out guidance on the Act's provisions for identifying and assessing additional support needs and making provision for them.

Q7. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 3?

Q8. If you are not content with Q7, please tell us why.

Q9. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 3?

Chapter 4

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It considers school attendance in relation to rights, responsibilities and placing requests.

Q10. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 4?

Q11. If you are not content with Q10, please tell us why.

Q12. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 4?

Q13. Does chapter 4 clearly distinguish the differences in an education authority's responsibilities for those children and young persons for whom:

  • no authority are responsible for their education;
  • arrangements have been entered into between authorities;
  • the home authority have arranged for them to attend a grant aided or independent special school or have arranged for them to attend a special school in another part of Britain;
  • the parent or young person has made a successful out of area placing request and as a result they are being educated in a school outwith the local authority area in which they live?

Q14. If your answer to Q13 is no, how do you suggest we improve this?

Q15. Does chapter 4 clearly identify the rights of parents and young persons in the 4 different scenarios contained in Q13?

Q16. If your answer to Q15 is no, how do you suggest we improve this?

Q17. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 4?

Q18. Is there anything contained in chapter 4 that you think should be removed?

Chapter 5

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It explains the circumstances under which children and young people may require a co-ordinated support plan. The contents of a co-ordinated support plan are also considered.

Annex C can be view at: here

It contains case studies to assist in making decisions about whether or not the additional support required is 'significant'.

Q19. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 5?

Q20. If you are not content with Q19, please tell us why.

Q21. Are you content with the case study grid provided in Annex C?

Q22. If you are not content with Q21, please tell us why.

Q23. Do you think chapter 5 and Annex C provide further clarity on the definition of the term 'significant additional support'?

Q24. If your answer to Q23 is no, how do you suggest we clarify this?

Q25. Do you think that chapter 5 clearly demonstrates the links with the Getting it right for every child (Girfec) approach?

Q26. If your answer to Q25 is no, how do you think this can be develop?

Q27. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 5 or Annex C?

Q28. Is there anything contained in chapter 5 or Annex C that you think should be removed?

Chapter 6

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It considers the requirements on education authorities and others under the Act in relation to transitions.

Q29. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 6?

Q30. If you are not content with Q29, please tell us why.

Q31. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 6?

Q32. Is there anything contained in chapter 6 that you think should be removed?

Chapter 7

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It describes how children, young people and their parents can be successfully involved in education and learning and describes the Act's provisions on supporters and advocacy.

Q33. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 7?

Q34. If you are not content with Q33, please tell us why.

Q35. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 7?

Q36. Is there anything contained in chapter 7 that you think should be removed?

Chapter 8

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It considers provisions under the Act for resolving disputes where they do arise.

Q37. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 8?

Q38. If you are not content with Q37, please tell us why.

Q39. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 8?

Q40. Is there anything contained in chapter 8 that you think should be removed?

Chapter 9

This chapter can be viewed at: here

It considers further provision relating to placing requests as well as a range of miscellaneous provisions in the Act not covered in earlier chapters of the code.

Q41. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in chapter 9?

Q42. If you are not content with Q41, please tell us why.

Q43. Are you content that chapter 5 and chapter 9 fully cover placing request provision?

Q44. If you are not content with Q43, please tell us why.

Q45. Do chapter 4 and chapter 9 clearly explain the different placing request appeal routes?

Q46. If you answered no to Q45, how could this be improved?

Q47. Is there any other information you would like to see included in chapter 9?

Q48. Is there anything contained in chapter 9 that you think should be removed?

Annex A

This Annex can be viewed at: here

It contains the legislative and policy landscape for supporting children and young people in Scotland.

Q49. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in Annex A?

Q50. If you are not content with Q49, please tell us why.

Q51. Is there any other information you would like to see included in Annex A?

Q52. Is there anything contained in Annex A that you think should be removed?

Annex B

This Annex can be viewed at: here

It contains the co-ordinated support plan template.

Q53. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in Annex B?

Q54. If you are not content with Q53, please tell us why.

Q55. Is there any other information you would like to see included in Annex B?

Q56. Is there anything contained in Annex B that you think should be removed?

Annex D

This Annex can be view at: here

It contains features of mediation and the Scottish Mediation Network's Quality Standards.

Q57. Are you generally content with the guidance contained in Annex D?

Q58. If you are not content with Q57, please tell us why.

Q59. Is there any other information you would like to see included in Annex D?

Q60. Is there anything contained in Annex D that you think should be removed?

Q61. Do you have any other comments that are relevant to the revised supporting children's learning code of practice?