Publication - Strategy/plan

Additional support for learning: action plan

Published: 21 Oct 2020

Plan setting out a range of actions to address the findings of the independently chaired review of implementation of additional support for learning.

18 page PDF

390.6 kB

18 page PDF

390.6 kB

Contents
Additional support for learning: action plan
Additional Support for Learning: Action Plan

18 page PDF

390.6 kB

Additional Support for Learning: Action Plan

We have welcomed the review of the implementation of additional support for learning and accept the recommendations which it makes.  We have set out a series of actions which together seek to address these recommendations and enhance the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs.

To ensure that the delivery of this action plan has the intended impact for children and young people with additional support needs, the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group (ASLIG) will agree robust implementation and outcome measures for each recommendation which relate to the National Improvement Framework.  Progress against these measures will be reported on by October 2021.  

The Scottish Government, COSLA and ADES are collaborative partners in this action plan and are represented on all of the strategic or working groups referred to in the action column.  This will ensure that there is alignment between the different workstreams taking forward implementation of the action plan and in reporting to ASLIG to support their role in monitoring the progress against the actions set out. 

1. Children and Young People participation:

Recommendation - Children and young people must be listened to and involved in all decision making relating to additional support for learning.  Co-creation and collaboration with children, young people and their families will support more coherent, inclusive and all-encompassing policy making which improves implementation, impact and experience.  

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - In line with our joint commitment to incorporation of the UNCRC and implementing the reform of the Care system, outlined in the Promise, the Scottish Government and COSLA will ensure that when additional support for learning policy is developed or revised, one of our key guiding principles is that children and young people are fully involved and listened to. This will enable all relevant guidance to be informed and shaped by ensuring that the needs of all children and young people are at the centre of any policies.

At both local authority and school level we will seek to fully involve and listen to children and young people in the development of local policy and guidance.

In doing this, the Scottish Government and Local Government will seek to ensure that any barriers to participation of children and young people are considered and support is put in place to encourage their participation.

COSLA will seek and share the views of children and young people with their members when considering responses to policy proposals.

The Scottish Government will continue to fund and support the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion and utilise their unique input and experience on matters related to policy consideration and development. 

The Scottish Government will continue to fund and support the Children’s Service, My Rights My Say.  This service supports children aged 12-15 to access support and advice to allow them to be fully involved in decisions about their education and exercise their rights under Additional Support for Learning legislation.

The Scottish Government and Local Government will seek to expand and consolidate opportunities for participation and engagement with children and young people through other existing networks and linking with organisations that promote and develop participation.

These actions will align to the work being taken forward elsewhere in this action plan.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

1.1 Vision statement:

Recommendation - A national overarching Vision Statement for success for children and young people who have additional support needs must be developed by the end of 2020 with the full involvement of children and young people.

Response - Accept.  

Actions to be taken forward - The Young Ambassadors for Inclusion, in partnership with The Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group (ASLIG will develop a national overarching vision statement for success for children and young people who have additional support needs.  The groups will consider ways in which the vision statement can be promoted across Scotland.

COSLA and ADES will promote the vision statement to ensure alignment between local and national statements.  

Delivery Timescale - ASLIG and the YAI will produce this vision statement by the end of 2020 and will be informed throughout this work by a range of other key stakeholders.

1.1.2:

Recommendation - This vision statement must be developed alongside a positive public communication plan which highlights the range of conditions and issues identified in the additional support for learning legislation and will be one of the ways in which the profile of additional support for learning is raised to ensure equity for all children and young people.

Response - Accept.  Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government will work with Local Government and partners, including parents and carers and children and young people, to identify opportunities to raise the profile of children and young people with additional support needs as we strive for excellence and equity for all.  

As part of this, we will develop positive, joint communications, both locally and nationally which seek to highlight the achievements and successes of all children and young people who have additional support needs.  

In developing this communication plan, consideration will be given to collaborative planning and decision making at all levels, between local authorities and health and social care, through a child right’s approach to health and wellbeing outcomes, linked to the Health and Social Care Standards.  Taking a whole systems approach, we will seek to ensure that the individual needs of children and young people can be met through a holistic approach within a whole school ethos which supports meaningful inclusion.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

1.1.3:

Recommendation - The achievements and successes of children and young people with additional support needs must be celebrated publicly in equivalence to attainment and exam results.

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - Aligned to development of a positive joint communication plan, the Scottish Government will seek to work with Local Government and partners to consider additional opportunities to further publically celebrate the wide-ranging successes and achievements of children and young people with additional support needs.  

Through the development of a measurement framework (see recommendation 1.2), ASLIG will ensure that successful outcomes can be meaningfully captured and recognised.  ADES have undertaken an initial mapping exercise which will inform and shape this framework.

As part of this work, the Scottish Government and Local Government will engage with children and young people and parents and carers to understand the range of successes and achievements and ensure this breadth is captured.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

1.1.4:

Recommendation - The language used to describe children and young people with additional support needs and the services which support them must be changed. It should move away from describing children and young people as their condition and not be solely focussed on deficits.

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - Through the development of the vision statement and a positive communication plan, the Scottish Government will work with Local Government to further recognise, value and celebrate children and young people with additional support needs.  Full consideration will be given to the language used to describe children and young people with additional support needs to ensure that it accurately reflects the intention of the legislation.

The Scottish Government will work with Local Government and other key partners to refresh the Supporting Learners’ Code of Practice, to ensure that it fully supports schools and local authorities to fulfil their duties under the Act.  This will ensure that all children and young people who have barriers to their learning are supported to reach their fullest potential.  

This refresh will be undertaken in full consultation with key partners, including children and young people and parents and carers and with full cognisance of other areas of work.

As part of this work, the Scottish Government will work with partners to further consider how to promote and raise awareness of the code and additional support for learning more broadly, aligned to actions set out at 1.1.2. 

These actions will be aligned to the actions which will be taken forward to support teacher learning and development. 

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

It is anticipated that the revised Code of Practice will be completed by the end of 2022.

1.2 Measurement:

Recommendation - To ensure that there is no reduction in aspiration and ambition for all children and young people to achieve to the maximum of their learning potential, a national measurement framework for additional support for learning must be developed.  The National Improvement Framework must be revised to ensure parity for additional support for learning.  

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - ASLIG will develop a national measurement framework which draws on information from a range of sources. This should include evidence from professionals, including Allied Health Professionals.  This measurement framework will seek to record outcomes for children and young people and the impact of different support interventions.  

As part of this work, ASLIG will consider how this information can be presented in an accessible and meaningful way to ensure that impact can be measured. 

To support this, from 2021 the National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan (NIF) will recognise the development of the national measurement framework for additional support for learning, and its progress will be monitored as part of the NIF.

Aligned to actions to be taken forward outlined at 1.1.3, ADES will use their mapping exercise to shape proposals for meaningful outcome measures aligned to the National Improvement Framework.  

Delivery Timescale - ASLIG are taking forward the development of a national measurement framework as part of their current Workplan.  As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

1.2.1:

Recommendation - This framework must be rooted in improvement methodology and assist in reinforcing a culture of improvement rather than compliance. The main objective of measurement and recording will be to support local improvement rather than comparisons between Authorities.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The national measurement framework will be rooted in improvement methodology and will seek to support local improvement across local authorities.

ADES will work with members of ASLIG in the use of improvement methodology and promote its use at local authority level.

1.2.2:

Recommendation - The test measures must recognise that qualifications are not relevant learning objectives for all children and young people and those children and young people are not failures because of that. The Milestones to Support Learners with Complex Additional Support Needs, introduced in 2018 along with the Curriculum review, are positive reference points and should be taken into account.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The national measurement framework will draw on a broad range of data and information to ensure that children and young people’s successes and achievements can be fully recognised and celebrated.  

Aligned to actions identified at 1.1.3 and 1.2, ADES will use their mapping exercise to shape proposals for meaningful outcome measures aligned to the NIF.

1.2.3:

Recommendation - The measures must value and ensure visibility of the diverse range of achievements, including in vocational learning, that are possible for all children and young people with additional support needs and reflect what they and their families feel are important for their (future) quality of life. 

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - In developing the measurement framework, the Scottish Government and Local Government will work with partners in ASLIG to ensure that the information and data which is collected, accurately reflects the diverse range of achievements of children and young people, within a context of learning for life.

This will be aligned to actions taken forward at 1.1 and 1.1.3. 

1.2.4:

Recommendation - The investment in Pupil Support Assistants must be measured for impact and improvement on children and young people experiences and achievement.  Local authority and school managers must plan a strategy to review the deployment of Pupil Support Assistants which takes account of recommendations from current national research Education Endowment Fund (2018).

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - As part of its work to develop a measurement framework, set out at 1.2, ASLIG will consider how to include measuring the impact of Pupil Support Assistants.  This will seek to support local authorities in their planning and deployment of Pupil Support Assistants.

As part of this work, ASLIG will consider drawing on a range of research and evidence to inform its approach.  This will include the work of the Education Endowment Fund. 

COSLA and Scottish Government will ensure the learning is circulated to schools and Local Authorities to aid planning.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

1.2.5:

Recommendation - A plan must be developed and implemented to test how the National Performance Framework can be expanded to include achievement measures which go beyond the current narrow parameters of attainment and qualifications (based on the National Performance Framework values) 

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, requires Scottish Ministers to consult on, develop and publish a new set of National Outcomes for Scotland and to review them at least every five years.

Additional measures will be considered during the next review of the National Performance Framework, which must be started by June 2023.

Delivery Timescale - The review of the National Performance Framework is due to start by June 2023.

2.1 Integration of ASL into Independent Review of CfE:

Recommendation - The Independent Review of Curriculum for Excellence must fully integrate the findings of this review and focus on all children, affording equity to those with additional support needs. 

Response - Accept  

Actions to be taken forward - The Independent Review of Curriculum for Excellence will draw on relevant international and Scottish data and available evidence from education stakeholders and partners.  This will include the review of implementation of additional support for learning.  

Delivery Timescale - The Independent Review of Curriculum for Excellence is due to be published in June 2021.   

2.1.1:

Recommendation - To fully achieve this, the Independent Review of Curriculum for Excellence must maintain a strong and central focus on the experience of all children and young people, parents and carers and the professionals in closest connection with them. 

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - The guiding principles of the independent review are that: “Young people’s experience and learning should be the most important consideration throughout the review, and this should consider the experiences of all learners, including those with additional support needs.” And “The review will be collaborative, involving Scottish education stakeholders (in particular through Scotland’s Curriculum and Assessment Board) and practitioners throughout the process.”

2.2 Scottish Education Council:

Recommendation - The work of the Scottish Education Council must be informed by the findings of this review.

Response - Accept.  

Actions to be taken forward - The findings of this review will be shared with the Scottish Education Council for their consideration.

As members of the SEC, The Scottish Government, COSLA and ADES will continue to engage with this group on a range of issues related to additional support for learning.  

As part of its governance arrangements, ASLIG reports to the SEC and will seek their input and feedback on key issues.

3.1 Leadership and Strategic Planning:

Recommendation - There must be clear values-driven leadership, shared communication, support and challenge at all levels of the system to ensure that the experiences and achievements of children and young people with additional support needs are visible and continue to be improved. 

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - Alongside the continued investment in values based leadership, the Scottish Government will work with Local Government and relevant partners, including GTCS, Education Scotland and partners in Health and Social Care to build on existing work and seek both nationally and locally, opportunities to develop and promote additional professional learning and leadership.

ADES will consult with its members on the locus of additional support needs within its leadership programme.  

Through continued work towards implementation of the Doran Review recommendations, the Scottish Government will work with Local Government and other key partners, including the Grant Aided Special Schools and National Centres, to consider opportunities to share the expertise of all professionals who support children and young people with complex additional support needs in specialist settings throughout the wider education system.  

These actions will be aligned to the actions which will be taken forward to support teacher learning and development. 

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

3.1.1:

Recommendation - In order to drive a holistic approach and support the visibility of children and young people with additional support needs Council Planning must incorporate the implications of additional support for learning for all Council and Partner services.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - ADES, SOLACE and COSLA will liaise on the approach to be taken at local authority level to ensure that council planning incorporates and makes visible the implications of additional support for learning.  This will build on other related work already underway, for example, related to Equalities.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

3.2 Fully integrated policy making:

Recommendation - Children and young people with additional support needs must be proactively and fully considered in policy making and appropriate cross-Government links made at the earliest stage.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government will continue to engage, as appropriate, across Government at the earliest stage to ensure that children and young people are actively considered in policy making and development, in line with the guiding principle of children and young people participation. 

The Scottish Government will seek to raise the profile of children and young people with additional support needs through a programme of internal engagement and awareness raising. 

We will also enhance the information that is available on the Scottish Government web pages to ensure that it accurately reflects the cross-cutting nature of this policy.   

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

3.2.1:

Recommendation - Children and young people and parents and carers must be partners in the development of key policies and guidance across the system. 

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - In line with UNCRC incorporation and our guiding principle, the Scottish Government will work with Local Government to continue to involve and value the contribution of children and young people and parents and carers in the development of key policies and guidance.  

Parents and carers will continue to be represented across a number of stakeholder groups, including ASLIG and the working group considering the refresh of the Additional Support for Learning Act Code of Practice. 

In delivering this, COSLA and Scottish Government will seek to ensure that parents and carers’ contributions are fully and carefully considered in addition to enhancing the participation of children and young people in policy making and the development of key guidance.

COSLA’s Children and Young People Board will continue to receive presentations and input from children and young people and parent and carer representatives.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

4.1 Audit Scotland:

Recommendation - Audit Scotland must use the key themes in this report and the associated findings from Audit Scotland’s audit of educational outcomes to inform the scope of their national performance audit on outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs. 

Audit Scotland is currently reviewing its work programme on behalf of the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission. If a national performance audit on outcomes for children with additional support needs is included, the issues raised in this report will be considered during the scoping phase. The final scope will be agreed by the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission.’

The Scottish Government and Local Government will engage with Audit Scotland on a national performance audit on outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs.  

At the conclusion of this work, COSLA and the Scottish Government will consider any outcomes and recommendations which are made. 

4.1.1:

Recommendation - This must include assessing spend on additional support for learning across services; and its impact on attainment; and outcomes for children and young people at all stages, highlighting good practice and gaps.

COSLA and Scottish Government will seek to work with other partners to consider the outcomes and any recommendations made.

4.2 Role of Grant Aided Special Schools:

Recommendation - The Grant Aided Special Schools and three national centres must use the opportunities that arise from the commissioning strand of the Doran Review[1] to consider how their specialist expertise (including in prevention and de-escalation) can be developed to be complementary to statutory mainstream and specialist provision in order to support improvement in the experiences and outcome of children and young people with additional support needs. 

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - Through continued work towards implementation of the Doran Review recommendations, the Grant-Aided Special Schools and National Centres, as well as the Scottish Government will work with Local Government and other key partners to consider opportunities to share the expertise of staff supporting children and young people with complex additional support needs in specialist settings throughout the wider education system.  

The Doran Strategic Commissioning Group which makes recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary on options for strategic commissioning, will consider this recommendation at a future meeting of the group.

ADES will consider this recommendation further in relation to local commissioning which has progressed since the Doran Review.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1 Teacher Education and Development:

Recommendation - Teacher recruitment, selection, education and professional development and learning processes must align with the changed and changing profile of children and young people in Scotland, ensuring:

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The selection of those applicants who wish to train to be teachers is for initial teacher training providers to determine.  However, the actions set out below seek to ensure that teacher education and development supports teachers to meet the needs of children and young people with additional support needs.  

The Scottish Government will seek to work with Local Government and partners to ensure that we build on and develop the suite of resources that are already available to teachers to support them to meet the needs of children and young people within their schools.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.1:

Recommendation - All teachers hold and enact professional values of inclusion and inclusive practice and see this as a core part of their role.[1][1] (Codes of Conduct/Standards) 

Response - Accept.

Actions to be taken forward - The Standard for Provisional Registration (SPR) and the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) are underpinned by professional values including social justice and trust and respect.  Professional actions outlined in the SFR include “identify effectively barriers to learning and respond appropriately. Seeking advice in relation to all learners’ needs as required”. GTCS are currently updating the full suite of professional standards and these will have an enhanced focus on additional support for learning and come into effect from August 2021.

The Scottish Government will discuss with the GTCS how they intend to reflect the findings of this report in the revised Standards. 

Local authorities are represented by ADES on the group which GTCS has established to take the recommendations forward and will engage with these discussions.   

Delivery Timescale - It is anticipated that resources will be available in October/November 2020.

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.2:

Recommendation - All teachers understand what additional support needs are, and are clear about their role in supporting the identification of additional support needs and the need to adapt their teaching to ensure a meaningful learning experience for all their learners.

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) publishes the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programmes in Scotland.  This states that the overall aim of ITE programmes is to prepare student teachers to become competent, thoughtful, reflective and innovative practitioners, who are committed to providing high quality teaching and learning for every learner.

The Guidelines also confirm that student teachers should develop their understanding and practice in key areas such as additional support needs including: ADHD, autism, dyslexia and adverse childhood experiences; and that programme design and delivery should develop and promote equality and diversity and empower student teachers to adopt.

GTCS are currently updating the full suite of professional standards and these will have an enhanced focus on ASL and come into effect from August 2021.  Linked to these revised standards, an Autism Guidance booklet will be issued by the National Autistic Society Scotland.

ADES will support this work through its representation on the GTCS group and through continued local authority career long professional learning (CLPL) plans.

Delivery Timescale - The updated suite of professional standards are due to come into effect in August 2021.

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.3:

Recommendation - All teacher education and development includes nationally specified practice and skill development in supporting learners with ASL needs as a core element. 

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - The GTCS publish the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programmes in Scotland.  The Guidelines state student teachers should develop their understanding and practice in key areas such as additional support needs including: ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and adverse childhood experiences; and that programme design and delivery should develop and promote equality and diversity and empower students to adopt these principles.

GTCS will continue to refresh the guidelines.

The Scottish Government are also currently considering how best to support teachers in the early phase of their career.  This work is now being considered as part of our response to Covid-19 but we fully expect any new framework of professional learning to help develop teachers’ skills in respect of additional support for learning.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.4:

Recommendation - Practice learning and development at local level must include where and how to access specialist expertise and support.

Response - Accept.  

Actions to be taken forward - The Framework for Inclusion has been designed to ensure that all students and teachers are appropriately guided and supported from the outset and throughout their careers towards gaining the required knowledge and understanding of inclusive education.   The Scottish Government, through the Council of Deans, set up a Working Group to develop the Framework for Inclusion.  The Framework includes values and beliefs for Inclusion, professional knowledge and understanding for Inclusion and skills and abilities for Inclusion.

The Scottish Government will seek to work with Local Government and other partners to ensure that teachers can access support and expertise from other professionals when this is required. We will also encourage and support whole school and inclusive classroom approaches to support improved impact and outcomes We will seek to support this through the refresh of the Code of Practice.  

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.5:

Recommendation - Communication, relationship building and positive mediation skill development is incorporated and embedded into teacher education and development, supported by coaching and mentoring opportunities.

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - The Standard for Provisional Registration (SPR) and the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) are underpinned by professional values including social justice and trust and respect.  Professional skills outlined in the SFR include “communicate effectively and interact productively with learners, individually and collectively”. 

GTCS are currently updating the full suite of professional standards.  These will have an enhanced focus on additional support for learning and come into effect from August 2021.

The Scottish Government and Local Government are also currently considering how best to support teachers in the early phase of their career.  This work is at mid-point but we fully expect any new framework of professional learning to help develop teachers’ skills in respect of ASL.

The Scottish Government are also continuing to invest in values based leadership through Columba 1400 Headteacher Leadership Academies and through recent pilot work with student teachers at the University of Strathclyde. 

Delivery Timescale - The updated suite of professional standards are due to come into effect in August 2021.

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.6:

Recommendation - Parity of career progression and pathway structures and opportunities for specialist teachers of ASL:

  • There should be a first teaching qualification in ASN available at Initial Teacher Education 
  • The career path proposal under consideration by the SNCT to develop new career pathways should have an additional strand for ASL

Response - Partially accept.  It will be for the GTCS and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education to decide if they wish to introduce an ASN qualification within ITE.  

Partially accept. The SNCT is currently developing the role and responsibilities for the post of lead teacher.  This will provide a flexible approach to career structures and offer opportunities for teachers to specialise in areas such as ASL.  It will be up to schools and Local Authorities to develop these new lead teacher posts and the new pathway being designed will allow this type of flexibility.   

The Scottish Government will explore with GTCS and SCDE the viability of a new qualification.  Initial discussions have taken place between GTCS and SCDE

SNCT Lead teacher Working group is ongoing.  The SNCT was due to issue an interim report in August 2020.  However this has been postponed due to the COVID -19 crisis. It is hoped that SNCT can pick this work up a soon as possible with the aim of considering an interim report in December 2020.  Following that the SNCT will decide on an implementation date. However their ambition remains that it will still be August 2021.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.7:

Recommendation - The focus and methods for teacher education and practice learning are directly informed and developed by the feedback of teachers.

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - A new self-evaluation framework to support universities to demonstrate the quality of their existing ITE provision has been developed by Education Scotland and the SCDE.  This Framework is supported by analysis from the MQuITE project which is tracking teachers through ITE and into the early years of their teaching career.

The Scottish Government have also recently surveyed all teachers in year 1- 5 of their careers to assess their professional learning needs. Over 50% of respondents expressed ‘education for all’ as their key area of need. We will reflect on this as we consider new PL provision designed to support teachers at this stage their careers.

The Scottish Government will continue to support the Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE) project and ensure ongoing analysis is shared with Education Scotland and SCDE.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.1.8:

Recommendation - Innovative and partnership approaches to practice learning should be developed including delivery and participation of children and young people, parents and carers. 

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - GTCS commissioned Children in Scotland to report on the views of children and young people’s experience and expectations of teachers.  This will feed into the refresh of the suite of professional standards. The importance of partnership working with learners, parents and carers is also made clear in the guidance on school empowerment which has been published in draft form on the Education Scotland website.

These issues will be raised with the School Empowerment Steering Group to allow the group to consider as part of its future work on school empowerment.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

5.2 Pupil Support Assistants:

Recommendation - The Classroom Support Staff working group must, as part of their work, undertake a review of roles and remit of Pupil Support Assistants.  This must include the development of clear specifications for how classroom teacher and pupil support assistant roles interact and complement each other.  It must also consider standards of practice, learning pathways, career progression routes and remuneration.  

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - The Classroom Support Staff Working Group membership consists of representatives from Scottish Government, COSLA, ADES, Unison, Voice, Children in Scotland and Education Scotland.  

The Group was established by Scottish Government to consider how best to empower and support classroom support staff.

The Group met for the first time in February 2020 and is currently considering its final terms of reference which include a number of the points covered in recommendation 5.2

The Group will develop clear specifications for how classroom teachers’ and pupil support assistants’ roles interact and complement each other. 

Delivery Timescale - This work is ongoing and as set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

6.1 Relationships between Schools and Parents:  

Recommendation - Schools and local authorities must work in partnership with parents and carers to develop, and deliver ways of working together that support and promote positive relationships, communication and co-operation.  

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - Aligned to work being taken forward on empowerment, parental engagement and involvement, and the NIF, and recognising that parents and carers are key partners in their children’s learning, schools and local authorities will seek opportunities to enhance partnership working with parents and carers, through consolidating positive relationships, communication and collaboration.  In doing this, schools and local authorities should consider ways to identify and address any barriers which may arise. 

Through current Quality Improvement frameworks including How Good is Our School(HGIOS4) ADES will promote good examples of joint working with parents, local authorities and schools.   

Aligned to the work to develop a measurement framework (1.2), ADES will consider opportunities to gather robust evidence of the effective relationships between parents and professionals and will work with ASLIG to consider how this can be presented within the framework.  

In support of work to enhance partnership working locally, the Scottish Government will seek to publish a revised, cross-portfolio summary of the national offer on family support, including how to ask for help, and the principles of good support.  We will work with partners to ensure that this is kept under review and captures the wide-ranging support that is available to families of children with additional support needs.

Further, the Scottish Government will consider the scope of the national advice and information service for additional support for learning (Enquire), to ensure that it is effectively resourced to meet the needs of the families that it supports, and can effectively collaborate across services to ensure reach.   

Getting it right for every child remains the overarching approach to supporting children and young people.  The Scottish Government are developing new policy and practice guidance with stakeholders including children, young people and parents.  This will cover the key components of GIRFEC including a named person or single point of contact who can consider holistically the wellbeing of children and young people and the co-ordination of support for identified needs through a single child’s plan by a lead professional to meet identified needs.

New practice guidance will highlight the roles of local authorities and schools and their work in partnership with other services to deliver integrated and joined up support for children and young people. 

This will also underpin the Scottish Government’s work on wider family support which links to the commitment made by the Scottish Government and Local Government to take forward the conclusions of the independent Care Review, published earlier this year. The Promise made clear that all families and carers caring for disabled children, looked after children and those with additional support needs should be supported and that schools have a role to play in offering non-stigmatised, community-based support. Schools should also be ambitious for care experienced children and ensure they have all they need to thrive, recognising that they may experience difficulties associated with their life story.

The Scottish Government will seek to work with Local Government to consider with partners including parents and carers, additional avenues for engagement with parents and carers to empower and support families to access the right support at the right time and promote positive communication between families and schools and local authorities.   

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

6.1.1:

Recommendation - This must include clear pathways on transitions for children and young people with additional support needs, in the context of learning for life, allowing parents and carers, children and young people and professionals to be informed and supported at key transition points.  

Response - Accept. 

Actions to be taken forward - New policy and practice guidance on GIRFEC will include consideration of individual needs at key transition points. 

The “Principles of Good Transitions 3” provide a framework to inform, structure and encourage the continual improvement of support for young people with additional needs between the ages of 14 and 25 who are making the transition to young adult life.  The Scottish Government are working closely with ARC Scotland (the Association for Real Change) on the development and trial of Principles into Practice.

Further, as part of the refresh of the Code of Practice, the Scottish Government will seek to enhance and align the guidance within the Code on transitions.  This will be done in full collaboration with stakeholders, including parents and carers.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

6.1.2:

Recommendation - Parents and carers must be involved as equal partners in the development of key guidance bringing their knowledge and lived experience.  

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - In line with the actions set out at 3.2.1, the Scottish Government and Local Government will continue to ensure that parents and carers are fully involved and listened to in the development and consideration of policy and key guidance.    

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

6.1.3:

Recommendation - Further investment is needed to strengthen support services for families, allowing these services and the support that they provide to be embedded.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government will consider other areas in which it can enhance the support that it provides to services which support families.  

This will be considered by ASLIG in order to consider gaps, and to support development of appropriate services.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

6.1.4:

Recommendation - The benefits of the use of mediation must be widely promoted at a national, regional and local level and consideration should be given to how mediation can be developed through professional learning to support the workforce.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government will undertake to highlight and promote the benefits of a mediation approach, including in the development of national guidance, such as the Code of Practice.  

We will explore initiatives for collaborative training through professional learning and recognition.  

ADES will support this approach and promote its use as a means and evidence of improvement.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

7.1 Relationships and Behaviour:

Recommendation - The remit of the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools (SAGRABIS) must be reviewed and widened to bring it up to date and in line with emerging knowledge and recommended practices, including the findings of this review.  The membership of the group must be reviewed in line with the refreshed remit.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government will table a paper at a future SAGRABIS meeting to propose how the remit and membership of the group can be broadened.

Delivery Timescale - The next meeting of SAGRABIS is due to take place in October/November 2020.

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

7.1.1:

Recommendation - SAGRABIS should have a primary focus on relationships and behaviour but the ability to also focus on wider additional support for learning issues, developing improvement priorities and ensuring those priorities are reflected at a national, local and regional level ensuring that they work closely with the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group.

Response - Accept 

Actions to be taken forward - This will be included in a paper to a future SAGRABIS meeting.

As part of their work, ASLIG will also consider how they can strengthen their links to SAGRABIS.    

8.1 Rights: 

Recommendation - The incorporation of UNCRC and its impact on ASL legislation and processes must be fully anticipated and planned for to ensure children’s rights are embedded and effectively underpin implementation of the ASL legislation.  

Response - Accept.

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government has committed to incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into law to the maximum extent possible within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended) empowers children and young people by giving them a number of rights in respect of additional support for learning in school education. 

We will ensure that implementation of the 2004 Act fully meets the requirements of the UNCRC as it extends to Scotland. 

The Scottish Government will fully consider the impact of the incorporation of UNCRC on additional support for learning legislation, including assessment of capacity.  

The Scottish Government will work with partners, including those who will have duties placed on them through incorporation of the UNCRC, children and young people and parents and carers to ensure that children’s rights are embedded and underpin implementation of additional support for learning.   

ADES will promote this work through their networks.

COSLA will engage with the development and implementation of UNCRC legislation seeking to ensure it allows for children’s rights to be embedded and that this can be appropriately planned for.

Delivery Timescale - As set out within the 2020 Programme for Government, the UNCRC will be incorporated into Scot’s law, to the maximum extent of the Scottish Parliament's powers, by the end of this Parliament. 

8.2 CSP Review:

Recommendation - The planned review of Coordinated Support Plans must take the findings of this review into account.

Also, it must consider: 

  • planning mechanisms within a whole life perspective for children and young people with lifelong conditions including transitions between and beyond education settings.
  • clarifying the interaction between CSPs and child’s plan and GIRFEC
  • the relationship between education and partners in health, social work and other agencies to identify where re- alignment is needed in the preparation and delivery of support. 
  • Where improvements are needed in the availability and accessibility of information and guidance about planning and its processes for all parents and carers and children and young people.  

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - The Scottish Government have committed to review the use of coordinated support plans.  In partnership with COSLA and ADES, we will establish a short life working group which includes all relevant partners to progress this work.  

The short life working group will take full account of the evidence heard as part of this review to inform the review of the use of co-ordinated support plans. It will also fully consider the areas highlighted by the recommendation to establish whether enhancements are needed in areas such as, the availability and accessibility of information and guidance about planning and its processes for children and young people, their families and those who support them.

Under GIRFEC, the Scottish Government has also committed to revising policy and practice guidance, including a single planning process for children and young people. It will seek to align and clarify the relationship between statutory and non- statutory plans and to align those plans.

This revision will also include a focus on planning for transitions, with an initial priority on those transitions for young people leaving school.

Delivery Timescale - Taking account of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, a short life working group will be established by the end of 2020 and the review will commence in early 2021.

As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

9.1 Assurance mechanism:  

Recommendation - Following this review, there must be a mechanism put in place to allow progress against these recommendation to be reported and scrutinised.  This should be developed in partnership with the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group. A progress report should be produced and reported to Scottish Ministers and COSLA one year after the publication of this report and its recommendations.

Response - Accept. However, in light of COVID-19, progress will be considered and reported on by October 2021.  

As part of their Workplan, ASLIG will review progress against the recommendations on an on-going basis.  

As members of ASLIG, the Scottish Government, ADES and COSLA will contribute to the monitoring of implementation of the Workplan.  

A progress Report will be provided to Scottish Ministers and COSLA’s Children and Young People Board.

To support this work, ASLIG will develop outcomes measures against each of these actions, setting out how progress will be measured.  ASLIG will provide further detail on this by the end of 2020.

Delivery Timescale - ASLIG will report on progress in the first year by October 2021.  

9.1.1:

Recommendation - Local authorities must take account of the findings of this report to review and align their quality assurance processes.  This must drive improvements in processes, practice and outcomes at all levels in the system.

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - Through reporting of Children’s Services, RIC and Annual Education Plans, ADES will support its members to incorporate the findings, such as outcome measures, into improvement planning at local authority level.

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.

9.2 Education Scotland:

Recommendation - Education Scotland must take account of the findings of this report and take action to ensure that their scrutiny frameworks and inspection activities are in line with it.

Response - Accept

In reviewing its scrutiny frameworks and inspection activities, ES will ensure that it takes account of the recommendations, and make necessary adjustments where required.   

Delivery Timescale - On next review of inspection framework and activities

9.2.1:

Recommendation - Education Scotland must use the findings of this review and the conditions identified for good practice, to support and develop improvement in education authorities, Regional Improvement Collaboratives and schools.  

Response - Accept

Actions to be taken forward - Education Scotland’s Regional Improvement Teams will ensure that all their Regional staff are aware of, and understand, the recommendations in the report. They will in partnership with Education Authorities, schools and others identify and share good practice, and help to support new ways of working where appropriate.  

Delivery Timescale - As set out at 9.1, progress made against these actions will be monitored and reported on by October 2021.


Contact

Email: supportinglearners@gov.scot