Additional Support for Learning Network minutes: December 2023

Minutes of the Additional Support for Learning Network meeting in November 2022.


Attendees and apologies

  • National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) (Chair)
  • National Autistic Society (NAS)
  • Children in Scotland (CiS)
  • Connect
  • Scottish Autism
  • Education Scotland (ES)
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Scottish Network for Highly Able Pupils (SNAP)
  • Health Visitor
  • Additional Support for Learning Lead Officers
  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • UNISON
  • COSLA
  • Scottish Government

Apologies

  • Sense Scotland
  • Sight Scotland
  • The Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC)
  • Association of Principal Education Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Secure Care (Good Shepherd)
  • STEP
  • AMASE
  • Teaching and lived experience of Autism, Dyslexia and ADHD
  • Children’s Health Scotland
  • Dyslexia Scotland
  • Allied Health Professions Federation Scotland
  • Enable Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed members to the meeting of the Additional Support for Learning Network and noted apologies. As members did not have enough time to consider all the papers of the meeting in detail, it was agreed that the agenda and all papers will need to be issued at least a week in advance of each meeting.

Minute of last meeting

Minutes from the last meeting had been issued to members and comments had been sought. Following reflection of the comments received, members were content the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting.

The Chair then provided updates on the actions from the previous meeting.

Action: (Scottish Government): Terms of Reference (ToR) amendments would be considered, and a further draft circulated to the group by correspondence for final sign off. The terms of reference would then be published on the Scottish Government’s website.

Update: The ToR have not yet been published. As the Network does not have its own webpage it was proposed that options needed to be explored on where ToR (and the notes of the meetings) should be published (eg. publishing within the ASL Project Board website). It was suggested that The ASL Network members meet 3 times per year. As this commitment was agreed, the ToR will need to be updated promptly.

Action: (Scottish Government): The ideas, comments and suggestions from the discussion on the draft National Measurement Framework (NMF) will feed into the Project Board’s work plan early in 2023 as they consider how to ensure impact from the actions in the Action Plan. Network members will receive updates by correspondence and have the opportunity to provide feedback as appropriate.

Update: One of the three ASL Project Board sub-groups is leading on the development of the NMF. However, the chair of the subgroup is not in attendance today to provide an update. This item will be brought back to the ASL Network when they next meet early in 2024.

Actions:

  • Minutes of this meeting will be issued promptly to allow members time to review.

ASL Project Board sub-groups

The Project Board agreed to the establishment of three sub-groups to support delivery of the ASL action plan.

The first sub-group is Operational and Communications. Chaired by COSLA, this sub-group has a focus on delivery of communication and engagement plan to ensure visibility and awareness of ASL policy and delivery of the ASL Action Plan.

The second sub-group is Training and Resources. Chaired by Education Scotland, this sub-group aims to build on the suite of professional learning resources available to school staff to support children and young people with additional support needs.

The third sub-group is Monitoring and Analysis. Chaired by ADES, this sub-group’s focus is the development, publication, and review of the National Measurement Framework.

Each sub-group has specific actions from the ASL action plan assigned to them and is responsible for bringing an action update to each Project Board meeting for a focussed discussion. The Chair invited the sub-group Chairs to provide an update to the Network on their progress.

The Operational and Communications sub-group have met on three occasions, with their last meeting on the 27 October 2023. COSLA noted there is some strong work being carried out by the inclusion ambassadors and the sub-group are considering how it can be promoted. The inclusion ambassadors’ representative will link in with COSLA to pursue this. It was also noted that there will be a new inclusion ambassadors case study published in February 2024. The sub-group is working on developing a communications strategy and are considering what they can do to ensure information is being made available to pupil support systems.

The Training and Resources sub-group have met twice and will meet next in early February 2024. The sub-group are currently undergoing a mapping exercise to identify the vast number of resources available right now and there will be a better understanding of this picture around mid-January 2024. This sub-group wants to focus on signposting and bringing existing resources together to reach everybody in education settings. Whilst this sub-group does have a focus on teachers, it is recognised teachers aren’t the only education workforce supporting children and young people. As a result, the sub-group will be ensuring other areas in the education workforce are consistently considered in discussions. The ongoing work of the sub-group will link into existing professional learning and frameworks for support staff. Education Scotland provided reassurance to the Network that the sub-group Chairs are in regular contact and share their work and progress. There was discussion around providing resources and information in Bookbug Bags and Baby Boxes.

The Monitoring and Analysis sub-group Chair was unable to attend and provide an update. It was noted however that work is ongoing on the NMF and further updates and discussions will be provided at the next Network meeting.

Actions:

  • Inclusion Ambassadors to liaise with COSLA (and the Operational and Communications subgroup) to reflect and feed in on the work that is currently ongoing.
  • The agenda for the next meeting of the ASL Network to include an Item on the case study of the Inclusion Ambassadors published in February 2024.
  • NMF to be one of the agenda items during the next meeting of the ASL Network in 2024.

Engagement with children and young people, parents, carers and staff

The Chair acknowledged communication is a huge barrier and opened the floor to members to discuss and suggest ideas that could be taken to the ASL Project Board or sub-groups for further investigation.

The Operational and Communications sub-group have had discussions regarding parents and carers experiencing difficulties getting access to support and information they need at the most important times. An ask was put to the group to see how many members refer parents and carers to Enquire when issues are raised to them. Members were aware of the Enquire services and utilise them when required. It was noted, however, that Enquire focusses on law and information, rather than the provision of direct support, so it may not be the most appropriate place to signpost parents or carers in need of urgent support.

Forming a flow chart of the support and information available for parents and carers before they reach a point of crisis or diagnosis, specifically stating who parents and carers need to contact and how they can do so, was suggested. It was agreed that a short flyer could make an impact and could be implemented quickly.

The Association of Support for Learning Officers (ASLO) have worked on their Dundee website to create a centre of information for parents and carers of children and young people with ASN. This website also links in with support systems and information on transitions. A similar version will also be launched on Dundee’s social media pages.

SNAP told the ASL Network that there must be help in place within schools for teachers on how they access resources to support. Education Scotland’s led sub-group are already looking into this, and assured members that lots of work is ongoing and will be shared with the Network. A graphic has been created on the ASL journey on the back of the coordinated support plan (CSP) review. Education Scotland are linking in with NHS education, health visitors and allied health professionals so that all stakeholders can access the ASL information they need for their context.

Actions:

  • COSLA will encourage Local Authorities to take steps to add the Enquire website information to their websites and have leaflets available in schools.
  • More info on any ongoing work re: the creation of a flow chart / flyer (for support and information) will be sought after in the next meeting of the ASL Network.
  • ASLO to provide further information on the centre of information being made available for parents and carers of children and young people with ASN once completed.
  • ES to share with The Network (in future meetings) updates on the ongoing work from the subgroup they’re chairing regarding access to support for education staff.

AOB

Membership of the Network will be continuously reviewed. There was a proposal for the Gaelic parental organisation Comann nam Parant, beaded to the membership. Members were content with the addition.

It was agreed that the ASL Network will become a recurring item on future agendas of the Project Board in 2024.

The Chair opened the floor to members to discuss our direction moving on, and what information the ASL Project Board could provide to The Network (and vice versa). It was suggested that it would be useful for The Network to have information regarding the ASL  Action Plan. The members can, then, be in a position to share any relevant updates with parents and carers showcasing the actions progress since the publication of the Angela Morgan review.

Actions:

  • Add ‘Updates on the ASL Action Plan’ as an Item in the next meeting of The ASL Network.
  • Supporting Learners’ Team to liaise with the Gaelic parental organisation Comann nam Parant and invite them to The ASL Network.
  • Include updates from The ASL Network in future meeting of the ASL Project Board.

2024 meeting schedule

Members agreed to meeting three times in 2024. A doodle poll will be sent out following the meeting to agree a specific date and time to meet in the spring, summer and autumn, with dates to be confirmed asap in the New Year.

Actions:

  • Set and Confirm the dates for the ASL Network meetings in 2024.

 

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