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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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Online Questionnaire

The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) Amendment Rules 2009

Q1. In light of the provisions contained in the 2009 Act which enable parents and young people to submit out of area placing requests, do you agree that the definition of "authority" in the Tribunal Rules should be amended to include, in respect of out of area placing request disputes, an authority that is not responsible for the education of the child or young person?

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

Q3. In cases where there are 2 disputes before the Tribunal, one involving an out of area placing request and the other a co-ordinated support plan issue, are you content that these disputes are able to be conjoined under rule 20. if appropriate?

Q4. If you disagree with Q3, please state your reasons why.

Q5. Do you agree that the Tribunal should be able to review its decisions in all of the 4 instances listed below?

  • its decision was wrong because of an error on the part of the Tribunal or its staff: or
  • a party, who was entitled to be heard at a hearing but failed to be present or represented, had a good reason for failing to be present or represented; or
  • new evidence, to which the decision relates, has become available since the conclusion of the proceedings and its existence could not reasonably have been known or foreseen before then; or
  • otherwise the interests of justice require

Q6. If you do not agree with Q5, in which of the 4 instances do you think it would be inappropriate for the Tribunal to review its decisions? Please state your reasons.

Q7. Are there other instances in which you think the Tribunal should be given the power to review its decisions? Please state the instance and your reasons for this.

Q8. Are you content for a convener alone to consider those referrals which involve the breach of a statutory timescale as laid down in Regulation?

Q9. If you are not content with Q8, please provide your reasons.

Q10. Do you think that 15 days is reasonable for the expedited case statement period?

Q11. If you answered 'no' to question Q10, what duration of case statement do you consider appropriate? Please state your reasons.

Q12. Do you agree that references involving a timescale failure should not be consolidated with references of a different nature?

Q13. If you do not agree with Q12, please state your reasons.

Q14. Do you agree that rule 26 should be amended to enable a convener alone (as opposed to the Tribunal) to consider references in which the circumstances detailed below apply?

  • Where no response is submitted to the secretary within the time appointed by rule 10 or any extension of time allowed under rule 19;
  • Where the authority states in writing that they do not resist the reference
  • Where the authority withdraws their opposition to the reference; or
  • Where both parties agree in writing to dispense with a hearing

Q15. If you do not agree with Q14, please state your reasons.

Q16. Should a convener have the ability to extend or shorten the case statement period regardless of whether a placing request is involved?

Q17. If your answer to Q16 is no, please state your reasons.

Q18. Do you agree that the case statement period for either the appellant or respondent should be shortened in order to reduce the duplication of papers?

Q19. If you do not agree with Q18, please state your reasons why.

Q20. Are you content for the case statement period of the appellant (parent or young person) to be shortened?

Q21. If you are not content with Q20, please tell us why.

Q22. Do you think that the case statement period of the respondent (the authority) should be shortened instead?

Q23. If you answered 'yes' to Q22, please state your reasons.

Q24. Are you content for 'In exceptional circumstances' to be removed from rule 8(4), thus enabling the appellant to amend the reference at any time, if permission is given by a convener or a Tribunal?

Q25. If you are not content with Q24, please state your reasons.

Q26. Do you agree that rule 9(2) should be amended to enable the Secretary to circulate all late submissions in advance of the hearing?

Q27. If you do not agree with Q26, please state your reasons.

Q28. Should the ability of the Secretary to alter the date and time of a hearing be removed?

Q29. If you disagree with Q28, please state your reasons.

Q30. Do you agree that rule 27(7)(c) should be amended to clarify that a 'supporter' cannot be called as a witness or as an additional representative where the party is already represented?

Q31. If you do not agree with Q30, please state your reasons.

Q32. Are you content for the convener to be given the power to carry out preliminary functions/processes?

Q33. If you are not content with Q32, please provide your reasons.

Q34. Are you content for the Tribunal to have the ability to call a witness if that witness can assist the Tribunal in reaching its decision, or that person has an interest in the proceedings before the Tribunal?

Q35. If you are not content with Q34, please state your reasons why.

Q36. Do you agree that the Secretary should have the discretion to accept electronic references without a signature?

Q37. If you do not agree with Q36, please state your reasons.

Q38. Do you agree that an appellant's representative should be able to sign a withdrawal notice to expedite the process?

Q39. If you do not agree with Q38, please state your reasons why.

Q40. Are you content for the provision relating to the number of witnesses to be moved from rule 28 to rule 22?

Q41. If you are not content with Q40, please state your reasons why.

Q42. Do you agree that rules 23 and 29 should be combined?

Q43. If you do not agree with Q42, please state your reasons.

Q44. Are you content for the 15 working day timescale to be removed and to allow the convener to specify the relevant timescale?

Q45. If you are not content with Q44, please state your reasons why.

Q46. Are you content for this error to be corrected?

Q47. If you are not content with Q46, please state your reasons why.

Q48. Do you have any other comments on the changes to the Tribunal Rules?

The Additional Support for Learning (Co-ordinated Support Plan) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009

Q1. Do you agree that the Regulations should be amended to facilitate the transfer of a co-ordinated support plan between authorities for those children who live in one authority area but are attending school in another authority's area?

Q2. If you do not agree with the proposal outlined in Q1, please state your reasons why.

Q3. Are you content that on receipt of any transferred co-ordinated support plan, the new host authority must conduct a review of the co-ordinated support plan within the time limits currently set for the review of such a plan as detailed in Regulations 5 and 7?

Q4. If you do not agree with Q3, please provide your reasons why.

Q5. The 2009 Act enables cases to be referred to the Tribunal where a parent or young personrequests an authority to establish whether a co-ordinated support plan is required and the authority fails to respond to the request within a specified period of time. Do you agree that the specified period of time should be 8 weeks?

Q6. If you disagree with the 8 week period suggested at Q5 above, please state your reasons why.

Q7. If you disagree with the 8 week period suggested at Q5 above, how many weeks do you think are more appropriate? Please provide your reasons.

Q8. The 2009 Act enables cases to be referred to the Tribunal where the education authority have issued their proposal to establish whether a co-ordinated support plan is required (under section 11(2)(a)) but, within a specified timescale, has not taken a decision either way. Do you agree that the specified period of time should be 16 weeks?

Q9. If you disagree with the 16 week period suggested at Q8 above, please state your reasons why.

Q10. If you disagree with the 16 week period suggested at Q8 above, how many weeks do you think are more appropriate and why?

Q11. Should a timescale be introduced within which an authority must respond to a request from a parent or young person to conduct an early review of a co-ordinated support plan?

Q12. If you disagree with the proposal at Q11, please state your reasons.

Q13. If you agree with Q11, are you content with the 4 week timescale proposed or do you think a shorter or longer duration would be more appropriate?

Q14. Do you agree that authorities should be placed under a duty when writing to parents or young people about co-ordinated support plan matters to advise the parents or young person that where they have an outstanding placing request or placing request appeal with a potential host authority, they should notify that potential host authority that their child/they are in co-ordinated support plan territory.

Q15. If you do not agree with the proposal outlined in Q14, can you suggest an alternative method to ensure that a potential host authority is informed of the fact that a child or young person, for whom they have an outstanding placing request or placing request appeal, is in co-ordinated support plan territory?

Q16. Do you agree that authorities should be placed under a duty when writing to parents or young people about co-ordinated support plan matters to advise the parents or young person that in any future placing requests submitted by the parent or young person to another authority, the parent or young person should notify the potential host authority of any co-ordinated support plan action.

Q17. If you do not agree with the proposal outlined in Q16 can you suggest an alternative method to ensure that a potential host authority is informed of the fact that a child or young person, for whom they have received a placing request is in co-ordinated support plan territory?

Q18. Do you agree that a potential 'host' authority should be placed under a duty to notify its appeal committee or the sheriff that the placing request appeal should be transferred to the Tribunal?

Q19. If you do not agree with the proposed outlined in Q18, what other method do you suggest for ensuring that the appeal committee or sheriff transfer the placing request appeal to the Tribunal?

Q20. Are you content for authorities to have discretion regarding the duty to notify a child's parents or the young person at the end of the 5 year retention period that the co-ordinated support plan has been destroyed?

Q21. If you are not content for authorities to have the discretionary power mentioned in Q20, please state your reasons why.

Q22. Do you have any other comments on the changes to the Co-ordinated Support Plan Regulations?

The Additional Support for Learning Dispute Resolution (Scotland) Regulations 2005

Q1. Do you agree that parents and young people should be able to refer an authority's refusal of a request for a specific assessment under new section 8A to dispute resolution?

Q2. If you disagree with Q1, please provide your reasons.

Q3. Are you content with the proposal that parents and young people should send referrals for dispute resolution directly to Scottish Ministers?

Q4. If you are not content with the proposal outlined in Q3, please state your reasons why.

Q5. If you do agree with the proposal in Q3, do you think that the proposed time limit of 5 working days for Scottish Ministers to send the referral to the authority is a realistic timescale?

Q6. If your answer to Q5 is no, what timescale do you think would be more appropriate?

Q7. Are you content with the proposed monitoring approach for dispute resolution applications?

Q8. If you are not content with Q7, please state your reasons why.

Q9. Do you agree that where the authority have failed to provide the support contained in a co-ordinated support plan the only route of appeal should be to the Tribunal?

Q10. If you do not agree with Q9, please provide your reasons.

Q11. Should the rate that authorities pay for Independent Adjudication be increased to £380 per case (excluding expenses for travel and subsistence)?

Q12. If your answer to Q11 is no, what rate do you think is appropriate?

Q13. Do you have any other comments which are relevant to the dispute resolution procedure?

The Additional Support for Learning (Sources of Information) (Scotland) Order 2010

Q1. Do you agree that the listed organisations should be included in the order?

Q2. If you do not agree, why not?

Q3. Are there other organisations you would like to see included in the order?

Q4. If so, please provide the details of these organisations.

Supporting Children's Learning - Code of Practice

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?