- 29 Jan 2021
Attendees and apologies
Jan Savage, ENABLE Scotland
Jennifer King, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
Sylvia Haughney, Unison
John Urquhart, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Laura Caven, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland
Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
Lynne Binnie, Association of Scottish Principle Educational Psychologiest (ASPEP)
Selma Augestad, Educational Institute of Scotland
Mel Lowe, Scottish Government
Deborah Lynch, Scottish Government
Robert Eckhart, Scottish Government
Kevin Barr, Scottish Government
Eddie Folan, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland
Andrea Bradley, Educational Institute of Scotland
Items and actions
Welcome and apologies
Jan welcomed members and thanked them for attending. Formal apologies were noted from Eddie Folan from COSLA, however Laura Caven was in attendance. Andrea Bradley (EIS) was unable to attend the meeting, but Selma Augestad was in attendance.
Jan provided a run through of the agenda items.
Updates from the team
Jan invited Mel Lowe to provide an update from the Supporting Learners team.
- Mel advised that the team was short staffed, with 1 member on long term sick leave, and another had moved to another team.
- Robert Eckhart from Health and Wellbeing team has joined the Supporting Learners team during lockdown. Robert is leading on physical intervention work, and supporting Deborah Lynch on the response to the ASL Review.
- Mel asked that patience was given when asking for things from the team.
- Team is focussing on education recovery work at the moment, including full-time/blended learning options.
- The Deputy First Minister would be providing updates on 23rd and 30th July on whether schools will return on a full time basis on 11th August.
- The specific needs of children with ASL have been involved in the thinking around this.
- 2 pieces of guidance were published the previous week on physical distancing, and transport.
- Physical intervention. Robert is taking forward the physical intervention work, with a meeting taking place the week prior regarding definitions. Robert is now looking to draft the definitions guidance with a proposed deadline of October 2020. A new timeline will be created if this no longer seems reasonable.
- A main focus of the team has been on the response to the ASL Review.
- Some of the less crucial work has been put on hold across the team.
Jan asked whether there was any support that ASLIG could provide on the guidance for returning to school. Mel advised that there was no support needed, however it was good to have ASLIG in the background.
Action - Kevin to send physical distancing, and transport guidance to members.
Action – Robert to send proposed definitions from physical intervention work to ASLIG
Initial responses to the ASL Review
Jan noted that the ASL Review may not have been published in the space the ASLIG group wanted, wanted, however acknowledged that it was a wide-ranging review with important recommendations. Jan thanked members who engaged with the review on social media. It was also noted that there is now an ASLIG page on the gov.scot site.
Jan welcomed Deborah and Robert to provide an update on the ASL review.
- The ASL review was published on 19th June, and welcomed by stakeholders and individuals.
- Scottish Government team has been working with colleagues from COSLA and ADES on the recommendations from review, and potential actions that sit against the recommendations.
- A draft action plan has been started in relation to this, drawing in on information from colleagues. Deborah noted that it would be helpful to gain some feedback from ASLIG on the recommendations.
- Jan noted that the report included information on ASLIG, and recommended that ASLIG should have oversight of the implementation of the report recommendations. Jan was glad to hear that initial conversations between COSLA and ADES had taken place.
Jan invited John and Jennifer to provide an update.
- John noted that there had been 1 meeting with SG, along with correspondence.
- COSLA position is that they may need to take something to their board (taking place on 25th August).
- Laura Caven noted that conversations had also taken place with Solace.
- Jennifer advised that ADES had discussed and fed these discussion back to SG.
- Response from ADES is positive.
- ADES had picked up on the measurement recommendation, as this is something that ADES can lead on. It was noted that the performance and inclusion network is looking into this as well.
- John noted that the COSLA board would have been approached sooner, however due to Covid-19 this has been delayed. Education recovery has been the priority at the moment.
- Laura noted that the board discussed the initial recommendations in May.
Jan welcomed responses from other members.
- Lynne advised that the report was welcomed by ASPEP, who released a statement endorsing it.
- Laura Caven advised that when the action plan was developed, there may be a bigger option to promote the actions going forward. Once the workplan is developed, it would be good to restate the report and ASLIGs role within this.
- UNISON welcomed the holistic approach taken by Angela. Potential concerns were raised about Covid-19 and how this will affect the funding.
- Cheryl Burnett noted that NPFS welcomed the report, and had received correspondence from parents also welcoming the report.
- NPFS are actively promoting the review. It was noted that once the action plan is produced, they will promote further.
- Laura-Ann advised that Education Scotland welcomed the report.
- There are 2 specific recommendations for ES that they have started work on.
Action – Secretariat to work with ASLIG to take forward role in broader communication of the review when the action plan is published.
Action – Deborah to send indication of when ASLIG should expect to receive a draft action plan
Action – Members to feed into the draft action plan by correspondence.
Overseeing progress to implementation
Jan asked the group whether they were content in the proposal for ASLIG to oversee progress to implementation for the ASL review.
Members discussed the need for ASLIG to focus on their own governance, and ensure there is clear link up with the Scottish Education Council.
Action – Kevin to recirculate minute from the facilitated session.
Members discussed whether there would be 2 action plans, one for blended learning, and one for full time learning. It was noted that there would only be 1 plan, but underneath this there may be additional actions.
It was noted that the ASL review commits ASLIG to produce a review report by June 2021.
Action – ASLIG ‘review report’ to be included in ASLIG workplan
Specific pieces of work that ASLIG could lead on arising from the Review:
1.1 The production of a national overarching Vision Statement for success for children and young people who have additional support needs. To be done by end of 2020.
The group agreed that ASLIG seemed like the right place for this action to sit.
John agreed, but as members of ASLIG noted that information may need to go to COSLA’s board.
1.2 The development of a national measurement framework for additional support for learning:
- Mel advised that this work should begin soon. A lot of work had been undertaken pre-Covid-19 and had not been able to progress further. They are now looking to pick this up at pace, In the next few weeks.
- Jennifer noted that they had shared the work that their authorities had done earlier in the year for reporting. It was agreed that ADES would share a mapping exercise with ASLIG that had been undertaken. ACTION – Jennifer to share this mapping exercise with ASLIG.
- Lynne noted that the work done shows that there is a lot of information out there, with a need to gather and evidence it appropriately.
- Jan noted that work is underway, and suggested that a draft framework would be available shortly.
- Mel advised that she has discussed whether they can specify in 2021 NIF what data will be collected under ASL.
- Jan advised that as a group, it may be good for ASLIG to have sight of this data to inform their own ability to identify good/bad practice.
- It was also suggested that the RIC’s should have this data to inform improvement agenda decisions
The group agreed to work on this via correspondence. Jennifer agreed to send a draft document for the group to provide comments by August.
It was also suggested that a meeting be set up, and chaired by Jennifer and Lynne regarding draft recommendations in September prior to making any formal recommendations.
Action – Teams folder to be set up by secretariat to allow members to share documents.
Action – Jennifer to send draft document to ASLIG before end of August for comment.
Action – 1 hour long meeting to be arranged for September, chaired by Jennifer and Lynne.
2.2 Working with the Scottish Education Council to ensure their work is informed by the findings of the review
Mel advised that she would speak to colleague who leads on the organisation of the SEC to establish what the current situation is.
Action – Mel to approach SEC secretariat to establish the current situation, how ASLIG can feed in and the meeting schedule.
7.1 Strengthen links with SAGRABIS.
Mel noted that the recommendation is for SAGRABIS to have a discussion about possibly rearranging membership to become more strategic. It was suggested that Mel would provide the link between ASLIG and SAGRABIS, and that workplans should be shared between the groups.
Action – Workplans for ASLIG and SAGRABIS to be shared with each other.
Letter of response to Cabinet Secretary
Jan advised she thought it would be appropriate to provide a note to the Cabinet Secretary welcoming the review and their role within this.
Action – Jan to work with secretariat to produce letter to the Cabinet Secretary
Letter of thanks to Angela Morgan
Jan advised she thought it would be appropriate to provide a letter of thanks to Angela Morgan for undertaking the review.
Action – Jan to work with the secretariat to produce letter to Angela Morgan
Agree the main focus of our next meeting
The group agreed that the main focus of the next meeting should include:
- Progress on framework for monitoring.
- Relationship between ASLIG and SEC
- Developing a vision statement.
- Review of action plan arising from Review (including SAGRABIS action plan)
Date of next meeting
Jan advised that the date of the next meeting was due to be on 27 October 2020. A 1 hour session will be arranged by the secretariat and chaired by Jennifer and Lynne to look at outcomes prior to this.
Jan thanked members for attending and progressing the work so much.
Action – Comms plan to be revisited by Jan and the secretariat.
1 - Kevin to send physical distancing, and transport guidance to members.
2 - Robert to send proposed definitions from physical intervention work to ASLIG
3 - Secretariat to work with ASLIG to take forward role in broader communication of the review when the action plan is published.
4 - Deborah to send indication of when ASLIG should expect to receive a draft action plan
5 - Members to feed into the draft action plan by correspondence.
6 – Kevin to recirculate minute from the facilitated session.
7 – ASLIG ‘review report’ to be included in ASLIG workplan
8 – Teams folder to be set up by secretariat to allow members to share documents.
9 – Jennifer to send draft document to ASLIG before end of August for comment.
10 – 1 hour long meeting to be arranged for September, chaired by Jennifer and Lynne.
11 – Mel to approach SEC secretariat to establish the current situation, how ASLIG can feed in and the meeting schedule.
12 – Workplans for ASLIG and SAGRABIS to be shared with each other.
13 – Jan to work with secretariat to produce letter to the Cabinet Secretary
14 – Jan to work with the secretariat to produce letter to Angela Morgan
15 – Comms plan to be revisited by Jan and the secretariat.