Strategy for the learning provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs 2017-2026: full consultation analysis

The full analysis report of responses to the consultation on the draft ten-year strategy.


The consultation on 'Scotland's Ten Year Strategy for the Learning Provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs' ran from 5 June 2017 to 28 August 2017.

Scotland's Ten Year Strategy for the Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs 2017-2026 aims to support improved outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs through strategic commissioning of national services, with particular focus on the provision of education. The strategy is based on recommendations made in the Doran Review published in November 2012. While the strategy also recognises the critical role played by social care and health services in supporting educational outcomes, the strategy is set with the context of The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, (as amended).

The consultation document asked 10 questions aimed at getting opinions on each part of the draft strategy, as well as, allowing general feedback on how the strategy could be improved.

Overview of consultation responses

There were 61 responses to the consultation – 14 from individuals and 47 from organisations.

The consultation document asked 10 questions in total – 2 questions on the structure of the document, 6 questions on the content and 2 questions to allow general feedback on how the strategy could be improved.

All respondents were given the choice to submit their responses anonymously and for them to be anonymous in reporting. 56 respondents gave permission for their responses to be made public and these are available on the Citizen Space website at All responses were moderated before being approved for publication.


The aim of the analysis was to present the wide range of views offered. The responses were examined using a qualitative thematic approach and the key themes from the analysis are summarised in this report.

Responses to the consultation varied, some focussed on providing comment on the draft strategy itself and answering the specific question asked. Other respondents used the consultation to comment on current practice around supporting children with complex additional support needs more generally, particularly in relation to the implementation of additional support for learning policy.

The analysis is focused on the volume and depth of the responses provided rather than the number of respondents. In other words, conclusions can only be drawn about the comments/information that respondents volunteered. If a respondent did not answer the question, or reference a particular topic, no conclusions can be drawn in relation to their opinions or stances on the issue discussed.

When discussing the prevalence of certain views, either amongst all respondents or within a certain subset, the following terms are used to indicate relative prevalence:

  • 'Few' means between 5 and 9%
  • 'Some' means between 10 and 19%
  • 'Many' means between 20 and 49%
  • 'Most' or 'Majority' means between 50 and 74%
  • 'Large majority' means between 75 and 89%
  • 'Consensus' means 90% or over

Analysis of responses


The purpose of this analysis report is to summarise against general themes. This means that a comment made against one question may be incorporated in the summary of the related theme under a different question in the analysis. It is not possible to capture every point raised. Generally, this report does not provide a response to comments or themes raised with the exception of a small number of cases where it is thought helpful or necessary.

Some comments, while having an impact directly or indirectly on education for children and young people with complex additional support needs, were not within the scope of this strategy – for example the need to increase financial budgets around resources for children and young people with complex additional support needs; the provision of services; and support like independent advocacy which is already provided under the Additional Support for Learning Act.

Similarly, there were several requests to add in details or statements about existing education, social care or health policies. Where appropriate, references to existing policies and guidance are made but it is not within the scope of this strategy to include the detail on every policy area. Also, as this is a national strategy, comments about improving provision or services, in specific local authorities or areas have been noted only in the context of the wider points to which they relate.

Where comments have been made in response to questions but relate to other questions these have been recorded under the appropriate question.

Note: percentages shown in the tables may not total 100 due to rounding.


Question 1: Is the structure correct? Does the content of the document flow in a logical order?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 40 66
No 10 16
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 11 18

Most respondents thought the structure was correct. Comments included 'The order flows in a logical sequence which makes it easy to read' and 'The document flows well, starting with the vision, aims and objectives and moving through to the various components of the strategy, in a progressive manner'. Of the 10 who responded 'No' to this question a general theme for that response was that there should be an earlier introduction to why there is a need for the strategy and/or for the strategy to be presented earlier in the document. Comments included 'We feel the order of the document could be improved by starting with the explicit needs for the strategy rather than its vision' and 'We feel the document could benefit from being clearer at the start about the Ten-Year Strategy and what it will achieve'. In responding to Questions 1, 2 and 3, some respondents made comments about the content and other points, rather than the structure. These have been captured in the analysis under other questions, as relevant.

Question 2: Does the structure help the reader to follow the strategy effectively?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 38 62
No 10 17
Don't know 2 3
Not Answered 11 18

Most respondents answered 'yes' to this question. Comments included 'The structure is inviting new and innovative approaches' and 'The structure is clear and identifies the key issues'. As with Question 1, the theme around introducing the strategy earlier in the document was repeated. A number of respondents made suggestions that visuals showing the timeline for the strategy would be helpful – 'The structure is fine but we think it would be helpful to see some visuals in the strategy for example a timeline of the strategy…This helps the reader to see how the strategy has evolved and its path over its 10-year duration' and 'A diagrammatical timeline would be appreciated'. There were also a number of suggestions for an 'Easy Read' version of the strategy to be produced for young people with complex additional support needs and their families.



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