The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills committed in May 2019, to review the use of Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs).
As the wider review by Angela Morgan of implementation of additional support for learning, included consideration of the different approaches to planning and assessment, it was agreed that the review of CSPs would not begin until the ASL review was complete, to allow findings from that wider review to inform the CSP Review.
Following publication of the ASL Review and subsequent action plan, this short-life working group has been established to consider the use of CSPs and identify the barriers to their implementation and subsequent effectiveness.
The group has been established to consider the use of Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs) for children and young people with additional support needs arising from complex or multiple factors which require a high degree of co-ordination of support from education authorities and other agencies in order that their needs can be met. The group will identify key issues and barriers to the effective implementation of the legislation related to CSPs and work collaboratively to address and overcome them.
The group will consider the evidence heard as part of Angela Morgan’s review to inform its work and should identify and consider barriers to implementation and other key pieces of evidence, in relation to CSPs. The group will ensure cognisance and alignment with other key pieces of work such as The Promise, incorporation of UNCRC, GIRFEC and transitions.
The group will also consider:
- planning mechanisms within a whole life perspective for children and young people with lifelong conditions including transitions between and beyond education settings
- the use of CSPs, and other plans, including the child’s plan, and provide clarity about the stages and levels used respectively when increasing needs are identified and require additional support and intervention
- if barriers exist in education authority’s knowledge and understanding of their statutory duties in relation to CSPs and where enhancements are needed to address any gaps identified
- explore levels of knowledge and understanding of the CSP by “appropriate agencies” and by the education authority exercising other functions, such as social work and consider what measures can be taken to address any gaps identified
- alignment to the work to revise the GIRFEC policy and practice guidance
- 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 identified in the CSP and any potential impact on resources
- where and how (might include, but not limited to: people, money and time) resources could be enhanced, both in education and in partner agencies, to effect positive change in the delivery of outcomes for children and young people with CSPs
- where improvements are needed in the availability and accessibility of information and guidance about planning and its processes for parents and carers, children and young people and schools and local authorities
- the planning mechanisms used for children and young people with additional support needs. Specific outcomes for individual CYP or settings that require resourcing
- Measures that evidence impact of any additional resourcing
- options on how to clarify the relationship between other planning mechanisms and CSPs within a staged intervention model
- the relationship and alignment between education and partners in other agencies in the preparation and delivery of support through the CSP and the extent to which resourcing creates a barrier to implementation and impacts the realisation of outcomes for children and young people
- where and how additional resources can be enhanced, both in education and in partner agencies, to effect positive change in the delivery of outcomes for children and young people with CSPs
- options to enhance the information and guidance available to support implementation of CSPs, including guidance on staged intervention
In addition to attending meetings, members may be expected to obtain feedback from their organisations in order to progress the work of the Group. Members should expect that some of this work will take place out-with meetings.
Operating practices of the group
A record of decisions will be produced from each meeting. The TOR, meeting agendas and recorded actions will be available publically on the group's page.
The short-life working group will report its overall findings and conclusions to the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group (ASLIG) to allow that group to oversee progress against the action plan. ASLIG will report to COSLA and Ministers on progress made in the first year in October 2021.
Routine progress updates will also be provided to COSLA and Ministers as the work of the short-life working group progresses.
The short-life working group is made up of representatives from:
- Scottish Government, Supporting Learners’ Team
- Scottish Government, GIRFEC Team
- Scottish Government, Health and Allied Health Professionals
- Education Scotland
- Health and Education Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland
- My Rights, My Say
- National Parent Forum Scotland
- Skills Development Scotland
- Social Work Scotland
- Looked After Children rep
The group will ensure that there is an appropriate mechanism in place to engage with young people directly. The group may also seek contributions from other representatives or groups as appropriate.
Additional Support for Learning Act and co-ordinated support plans
Education authorities and other agencies have duties under the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended) (“the 2004 Act”) to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils.
There are a range of planning mechanisms used by education authorities to meet children’s needs, including Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs), individualised support plans, child’s plans and other mechanisms.
The 2004 Act sets out that a child or young person requires a co-ordinated support plan if:
- an education authority are responsible for the school education of the child or young person
- the child or young person has additional support needs arising from:
- one or more complex factors
- multiple factors
- those needs are likely to continue for more than a year
- those needs require significant additional support to be provided
- by the education authority in the exercise of any of their other functions as well as in the exercise of their functions relating to education
- by one or more appropriate agencies
Education authorities must have arrangements in place to identify from among those children and young people for whose school education they are responsible, those children and young people with additional support needs who require a co-ordinated support plan and the particular additional support needs of the children so identified.
Also, the 2004 Act assumes that all looked after children and young people have additional support needs unless the authority are able to demonstrate that an individual looked after child or young person does not require additional support in order to benefit from school education. In addition, the 2004 Act requires education authorities to consider whether each individual looked after child or young person requires a co-ordinated support plan.
Parents, children and young people have a number of rights under additional support for learning legislation, including asking the local authority to consider preparing a CSP. There are a range of mechanisms available to parents under the 2004 Act to resolve disputes about provision of support, including the preparation of CSPs.