1. Overview and background
As a group, ASLIG has welcomed the Independently Chaired Review of Additional Support for Learning (ASL), authored by Angela Morgan and published in June 2020, in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19. The group used this as a starting point in addressing current challenges around ASL implementation in Scotland.
ASLIG has noted the overwhelmingly positive response of parents, young people and other stakeholders to the findings of the report, and to the recommendations. We were very encouraged that parents and young people not only felt listened to, but that they felt 'heard' in the recommendations. ASLIG has also noted concerns that the Review did not consider fully the resource and budget implications of delivering ASL equitably for all pupils in all settings. However ASLIG is aware that this was out of scope of the Review, and is a priority for Audit Scotland to assess and for COSLA and the Scottish Government to consider as per the Review's recommendations.
Following our July 2020 meeting where the Group met to formally consider the findings of the Independently Chaired Review, ASLIG wrote to Angela Morgan to thank her for her excellent work on the Independent Review and to reassure her of the Group's commitment to its recommendations and values.
ASLIG is pleased that the Scottish Government and COSLA accepted the recommendations in full in October 2020. ASLIG wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to confirm that the Group was happy to take on the role as outlined in the Independent Review as follows:
Recommendation 9.1 Assurance mechanism
Following this Review, there must be a mechanism put in place to allow progress against these recommendations 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 for Scottish Ministers and COSLA one year after the publication of this report and its recommendations.