Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group minutes: December 2020

Minutes of the December 2020 meeting of the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group.

Attendees and apologies

  • Jan Savage, Enable
  • Jennifer King, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland
  • John Urquhart, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Eddie Folan,     Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland
  • Andrea Bradley, Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Mel Lowe, Scottish Government
  • Deborah Lynch, Scottish Government
  • Kevin Barr, Scottish Government


  • Sylvia Haughney, Unison
  • Lynne Binnie, Association of Scottish Principle Educational Pyschologists (ASPEP)

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Members were welcomed and thanked for attending. It was noted that a lot of work has been ongoing throughout the pandemic to support children and young people with additional support needs. Apologies were noted from Sylvia Haughney, Unison. Jan welcomed Eddie Folan the new COSLA rep to the group.


ASLIG will now report to the Scottish Education Council (SEC) and so there is a need for discussions and decisions by the group to be recorded in a more strategic way using a governance paper.    

A draft governance paper was brought to the group. Members were asked to sign off on this. COSLA will need to send future governance papers to their board for sign off. It was suggested that consideration needs to be given to a CRWIA being undertaken and for SWU to discuss with CiS where appropriate. Members also noted that there should be a way to measure the impact of Covid-19 on the governance form. 

SG officials are still engaging with  the secretariat for the SEC. It was noted that the SEC is not running at the moment, however the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group may wish to be aware of ASLIGs work. 

It was agreed that once each governance form is completed,   a decision has been made and signed off by members, it should be published on the SG site.

Action: CRWIA to be explored, SWU to discuss with Children in Scotland where appropriate. 

Action: Approved governance paper/s to be published on website post decision

Letters of response to Cabinet and Angela Morgan – Measuring progress against recommendations. 

Members discussed the vision statement. It was advised that this work is being led by the Inclusion Ambassadors and will be started in earnest in the new year..  The group met twice using online platforms since school returned in August. It was suggested that the Inclusion Ambassadors share the vision statement with ASLIG for sign off.  

Jan invited Jennifer and Laura-Ann to discuss the outcome measures that will be used to track progress against each of the actions in the review action plan, and referenced paper 3, 4 and 5 to assist in the discussion. 

Members discussed the need to identify current gaps. The group may be able to move quickly on some recommendations and measures, however others may need timelines. 

A new tracker will be developed which will pull together the national measurement framework  and the outcomes measurement.  The tracker will need to include a risk register which must be fully populated to enable progress to be tracked. SG officials have set aside time in January 2021 to look at the tracker before sharing with the group to track progress. Clear links should be made between the national measurement framework, and outcome measures. 

Jan thanked Jennifer and Laura-Ann for undertaking the work. 

It was agreed that  members need to reach agreement on the proposed approach whilst looking for gaps and good practice to ensure this is reflected. The group need to set out (which can be included in the tracker) short, medium and long term outcomes – especially as ASLIG will provide an update to DFM next year on progress against these actions. 

It was suggested and agreed that representation from Social Work would be sought. 

NPFS will be able to  support any parental engagement work. 

Members were in agreement with the proposed approach, however need to identify and refine outcomes. There then may be a need to  make a recommendation(s) to commission work outwith ASLIG. It was noted that the group need to finalise the approach by end of January 2021, identifying both outcomes and gaps. This will allow ASLIG to draft a recommendation paper at the end of January. Group members who have been leading on these pieces of work will refine them further based on the groups feedback with a view to developing a recommendation paper for the group to consider.

Action: Supporting Learners Team - further develop the action plan tracker and include a newly developed risk register with short, medium and long-term outcomes. Clear links should be made between national measurement framework and outcomes framework. Risk register could be used to capture impact of Covid-19.

Action: Inclusion ambassadors to share vision statement with ASLIG for comment and consideration to approve as final. SWU to work with CiS to produce Governance paper alongside the suggested vision statement to confirm status of action required.  

Action: Social work representation to be included in ASLIG. COSLA to approach

Action: Outcome measures to be included in the tracker and sent to ASLIG members to  consider any gaps or amendments.  Once amendments/gaps identified have been sent to Secretariat a  recommendation/governance paper will be developed for ASLIG. 

National Measurement Framework 

Jan thanked Lynne and Jennifer for work done previously. 

Jan referenced papers 6-9 and invited Deborah to lead the discussion. It was noted that the group need to think about the audience for the report, and when would be the best time to publish the framework. 

It was noted that paper 7 sets out consideration of measurement framework with a suggested purpose and  consideration who the audience should be. Paper 8 sets out suggested structure of the report. 

Concerns were raised about absences being recorded under different Seemis codes, the inconsistency of support plans, inspections currently being suspended and how we can capture the data that would previously have been recorded. It was noted that there are implementation issues at the moment, and that is why Angela was tasked with undertaking the review, however this paper is the starting point for the group. May not have a full measurement framework by January, but ASLIG can work with info they have to create something meaningful. This is something that must constantly be revisited and revised. 

Members discussed the importance of looking at a range of learning activities in the main curriculum. The group agreed that there needs to be a clear commitment to include, engage and involve all CYP as much as possible across the general curriculum. The group agreed that they need to find a way to capture wider achievements of CYP with additional support needs, including those achieved outside school. Members acknowledged the need to widen the definition of achievement.

It was noted that the group will need to identify the things they will measure, and identify how to analyse this. 

Definitions and guidance need to be clarified when gathering data. The impact of Covid-19  is impacting on authorities in different ways. It was noted that there does not seem to be data on how many CYP are accessing alternative online platforms, and it would be useful to capture this.  

It was noted that members agreed on the framework, but that it needed further work to refine it. It is recognised that  this is a significant piece of work, and we need to record the successes of CYP with additional support needs differently and need to alter how we view achievement beyond more narrow attainment measures. It was suggested that the group need to consider whether the proposed publication date of January 2022 needs to be changed in order to maximise its influence on national and local government budgeting..

Group agreed that the audience is likely to be LA’s, schools, parents, CYP, parliamentarians. The report needs to be accessible for CYP and parents, but they should also be  involved in its development. Conversations should take place with NPFS and CiS about how to facilitate this engagement. 

The measurement framework paper will be revised based on the groups feedback and then drawn into a governance paper for their consideration.

Action: Measurement framework paper to be revised by Supporting Learners Team to take into consideration ASLIG’s comments.  Measurement paper then drawn into a governance paper for ASLIG consideration. Framework to be included in the tracker.  

Action: Supporting Learners Team to further consider proposals for timing of publication of measurement framework with a recommendation paper for approval at the next meeting.

Action: Supporting Learners Team to engage with NPFS & CIS on development of measurement framework report, specifically related to parental and young people engagement

Education recovery: Current & future support for CYP with ASN 

ASLIG now need to think about what happens next, whilst acknowledging the impact of Covid-19. 

Scottish Government had commissioned Education Scotland to undertake an equity audit in relation to Covid-19. This should be shared with ASLIG. 

  • Jan asked that members think about education recovery:    What’s the learning that we want to take forward? 
  • What are the positives? 
  • What have the challenges been that expose structural inequalities. 

Members discussed that Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of good relationships for CYP with additional support needs. NPFS has conducted a survey which may contain information about impact of Covid-19. Enable Scotland is also undertaking research, and this would assist with senior phase and it’s relation to Covid-19.

Actions: Education Scotland equity audit due to be published in January 2021 to be shared with ASLIG once complete
Actions: Members to think about education recovery and the potential support gaps. Comments to be sent to secretariat by end of January.


Members discussed the engagement between the ASLIG and AGASL groups. It was noted that ASLIG have a page on the site which should contain all relevant information for the AGASL group to access. 

Action: Supporting Learners Team to circulate newsletter for comment by correspondence.

Action: Secretariat to issue short electronic update to AGASL group advising them that all information regarding ASLIG will be available on site. 

Date and focus of next meeting 

Group agreed that 19th January 2021 does not leave enough time between meetings. Secretariat will send out new calendar requests for 2021/22 starting in early March. 

Potential focus of next meeting:

  • Approving approach to monitoring progress. 
  • Approve draft vision statement by correspondence. 
  • An update on progress on evidence we need for national measurement framework and any gaps there are to be provided. 
  • Sign off on any documents sent to the group.

Jan asked for any other agenda items to be sent through to secretariat. 

Actions: Secretariat to issue dates for 2021/22, starting in March 2021, with priority areas aligned to action plan tracker.



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