On 8 May 2018 Scottish Government officials provided the Deputy First Minister (DFM) with several options to further support the implementation of Additional Support for Learning (ASL). One of these options was to establish a new ASL Strategic Board, reporting to the Scottish Education Council (SEC). Following this advice DFM asked that rather than establish a new ASL Strategic Board, the Advisory Group on Additional Support for Learning (AGASL) should report to the SEC on their work to support implementation of ASL.
Scottish Government officials met with AGASL to discuss this proposed change and that it would require the consideration of policy implementation by AGASL to become very strategic and action focussed as the group would be required to provide strategic advice to SEC. Further officials indicated that there is a need for provision of dynamic advice to officials and Ministers, in light of the increased priority of ASL within the media and scrutiny from Parliament.
On 20 February AGASL agreed that the current structure of the group needed to change. They agreed that AGASL in its current format would come to an end and that a new structure with a core strategic group (ASLIG) which drives forward the important issues that are on an agreed workplan will be formed.
ASLIG role is to work collaboratively to provide advice to Scottish Government, the Scottish Education Council and Scottish Ministers on key issues relating to the implementation of Additional Support for Learning with a clear focus on continued improvement ensuring that every child and young person gets the support they need from childhood through to adult life.
The group will make recommendations on key actions to ensure continued effective implementation of Additional Support for Learning by:
- bringing together decision makers and key influencers with a strong focus on implementation of Additional Support for Learning for frank and open discussion about what is working and what and where more improvement is required
- providing leadership and advice to the Scottish Education Council and Scottish Ministers in developing a strategic approach and vision for improvement and continued effective implementation of Additional Support for Learning
- having a primary focus on implementation of Additional Support for Learning, but have the ability to focus on wider partnership issues as and when required, in particular, Getting it right for every child and the empowerment of school staff
- provide guidance and advice at all levels of the system, working across organisational and structural boundaries to support improvement and continued effective implementation of Additional Support for Learning by developing improvement priorities and ensuring those priorities are reflected at a national, local and regional level
Chair and Membership
The group will be chaired by Jan Savage, Director of External Affairs & Strategic Development, Enable Scotland.
Membership of the group will be:
- Chair/Enable Scotland – Jan Savage
- ADES – Jennifer King
- COSLA – TBC
- ASPEP – Lynne Binnie
- EIS – Andrea Bradley
- UNISON – Sylvia Haughney
- Education Scotland – Laura-Ann Currie
- NPFS - Cheryl Burnett
- Children in Scotland - Sally Cavers
- Scottish Government - Melanie Lowe
This strategic group will be complimented by a wider network (made up of ex-AGASL members) which will meet at least once a year often to receive updates and discuss more operational matters.
Members should represent the position of the organisations they are representing at meetings. If members are unable to attend, then they should nominate an alternative representative.
ASLIG will meet every 3 months. The 1st meeting of ASLIG will take place on 31 October 2019.
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