Additional Support for Learning Network minutes: November 2022

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

Attendees and apologies

  • Scottish Government (Chair and secretariat) (SG)
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)
  • National Autistic Society (NAS)
  • The Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC)
  • Children in Scotland (CiS)
  • Connect
  • Scottish Autism
  • Dyslexia Scotland
  • Education Scotland (ES)
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
  • Allied Health Professions Federation Scotland
  • Enable Scotland
  • Scottish Network for Highly Able Pupils (SNAP)
  • Teaching and lived experience of Autism, Dyslexia and ADHD
  • Children’s Health Scotland
  • ADES National Education Officer


  • National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT)
  • Additional Support for Learning Lead Officers
  • Sense Scotland
  • Sight Scotland (GASS)
  • Association of Principal Education Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Secure Care (Good Shepherd)
  • STEP

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Introductions were made and apologies noted above. The Chair confirmed that the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) representative has accepted the role of Chair of the network meetings following staffing changes at Enable Scotland, who had previously agreed to Chair. The SG chaired this meeting as the NPFS representative was delayed.

Nomination of deputy-chair

The Chair asked the group for nominations for deputy-chair of the network meetings. The Children in Scotland representative volunteered to take on this role and was appointed by the group.

Terms of reference

The Chair asked if the group were content to agree its draft terms of reference. The following comments were made during the discussion:

  • The draft should reflect the group’s role in championing additional support for learning as part of their engagement with wider education policy work.
  • The representative from SNAP has changed.


  • Terms of Reference 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.

Brief overview of Education Scotland work on profiling achievement

Education Scotland updated the group on exploratory work being undertaken as part of their curriculum innovation discovery projects, including work on Learner Pathways 3-18, Interdisciplinary Learning and profiling and capturing learners’ achievements.  The profiling achievement co-design group includes representation from educators with expertise in ASN and is considering how all of Scotland’s learners can be supported to understand, capture and articulate all of their achievements across the four capacities.  This is aligned to the recommendations from the OECD’s 2021 report on the curriculum.  This work aligns to the aim of the National Measurement Framework to support the delivery of additional support for learning and the celebration of children and young people’s broad achievements. During the discussion, the following points were raised:

  • Consideration should be given to children and young people’s school leaver profile and whether a profile of achievements could serve multiple purposes in their onward progression.
  • Some wider achievement is captured in the Personal Statement in UCAS forms.
  • Consideration should be given to capturing any wider achievement and skills gained out with the school community.
  • Achievement as measured against the four curriculum capacities need to be tailored to each child or young person as success looks difference for everyone.
  • There should be consideration about the use of the 4 capacities for framing, as they could be viewed as increasing inequality.
  • Consideration on how the suggestions from Education Scotland will take account of the ongoing consultations, particularly the review around assessment.
  • Consideration should be given to whether profiles will record the full range of supports that help individual children and young people’s learning.
  • Employer and further and higher education sector’s weighting of certificated versus non certificated achievements is being considered by Education Scotland in the context of the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment.
  • Engagement with mobile families (armed forces and gypsy traveller) should be prioritised.

Education Scotland will consider all of the points raised by group members and keep members informed of progress with this work.

Measuring impact of ASL action plan

The Scottish Government introduced a paper on the draft national measurement framework, the development of which is a key recommendation of the 2020 Review of Additional Support for Learning implementation. The current draft has been developed with input from the National Autism Implementation Team and the Scottish Government and aims to capture measures of success and measures of additional support for learning implementation. The Scottish Government asked for group members’ feedback on the draft measurement framework. The following comments were made in the discussion:

  • The measures are well thought out.
  • The framework is good. Measures on exclusions and part time timetables are welcome. The challenge is how to capture way progress against ‘informal’ exclusions, i.e. CYP asked to sit out particular classes/sent home early which is often not recorded.
  • Consideration should be given to the inclusion of third sector organisations in the measure of ‘accessing multi-disciplinary partners through a staged-intervention process reference’ (assurance measure for Professional Education and Development).
  • The current inclusion measures reflect surface measure inputs and outputs. Consideration should be given to measures of children and young people’s wellbeing and participation.
  • Parents and carer participation measures should also be included.
  • Measures of the uptake and use of support should be included.
  • Measures of staff resources and time on support should be considered.
  • Consider how we can measure number of ASN teachers.
  • Financing of proposals should be considered.
  • Alignment with the four principles of inclusion is welcome.
  • Measuring the number of complaints will not reflect concerns that have not been formally reported or where parents have not complained due to a lack of unaware of the service they should be receiving.
  • The measures relate to national data that already exists. Consideration should be given to measuring parents and children and young people who are happy with provision, and children that are doing well. Potentially through user satisfaction surveys.
  • The principle of a rights-based approach should underpin everything. Consideration should be given to measuring how well young people and their families know their rights. For example, if they are informed of their right to education at times of illness, they could demand it. An increase in teaching of pupils who are too ill to attend school would be one way of measuring this item.
  • Consideration should be given to showcasing local authority websites that have accessible up-to-date information on additional support for learning and the authority’s accessibility strategy. This information provision could be a measure.
  • Consideration should be given to how a school’s culture of inclusion, and where the whole school community has an inclusive mindset could be measured.
  • Awareness of the Enquire information and advice service amongst staff and parents could be an additional measure.
  • The aims of the measurement framework needs to be more ambitious. Potential is exponential and is therefore problematic to measure.
  • The framework must capture meaningful and measurable improvement.
  • Measures of parents and carers experience should include relevant third sector reports.
  • Measures should not be too burdensome for those reporting and collating them.
  • Consideration should be given to the desired change and the assurance and inclusion measures that would achieve those aims. As currently drafted the assurance and inclusion measures would not achieve the wider system change envisaged by the 2020 additional support for learning review.
  • Information sharing with children and young people, parents and carers just needs to happen. This could also be measured by user satisfaction.

Next steps

The note of this meeting will be shared for any final comments before it is published on the Scottish Government’s website.


  • The ideas, comments and suggestions from the discussion on the draft National Measurement Framework 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.
  • The Scottish Government will confirm dates for the 2023 network meetings.


No further items were raised.

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