Publication - Consultation analysis

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

Published: 9 Apr 2019
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781787817135

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

35 page PDF

449.0 kB

35 page PDF

449.0 kB

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

35 page PDF

449.0 kB

Research

37 respondents commented on this section. Only one respondent stated that they did not agree that research should be in the scope of services to be commissioned. The large majority of respondents agreed that research should be in the scope of services to be commissioned.

Three respondents stated they could not agree or disagree with research. The reason given was a lack of information and/or transparency about what types of research and how that research would be commissioned. Two respondents asked for clarity on how the quality of the research would be assured.

From a few of the responses it was evident that it was felt the strategy would benefit from providing more clarity around what research ('into the experiences of children and young people with complex additional support needs') had already been completed by the Doran review.

The main themes to emerge under Research were:

  • Outcomes; and
  • The experiences of children and young people with complex additional support needs;
  • Good practice;
  • Definition of complex additional support needs;
  • Informal Exclusion.

Outcomes and experiences of children and young people with complex additional support needs

14 of the respondents highlighted either outcomes and/or the experiences of children and young people with complex additional support needs as the most important area that requires research.

Respondents felt that currently there was no clear national picture of what represents achievement or positive outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs. CoSLA stated 'We need more information about the children and young people collectively who are attending the seven grant-aided special schools and the three education support services that receive recurrent funding from the Scottish Government, in order to consider how their needs are currently met and how children with similar needs could be supported in future.'

Social Work Scotland in a similar note commented 'it isn't clear whether any of the proposed research will address the gap in understanding what the long term outcomes are currently for children in specific specialist facilities and the anticipated outcomes if we were to move to different models..' and another respondent stated 'the commissioning of independent research will be important in monitoring and assessing the impact of existing educational provision on achieving outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs.'

Another respondent commented 'we feel this 10-year strategy offers an opportunity to commission research on the longitudinal post-school destinations of learners with complex needs so more is known about their educational outcomes and the likelihood of maintaining post-school destinations.'

One of the local authorities who responded to the consultation made the following point – 'Research which focuses on outcomes for children and young people who have experienced a range of support/provision (both local authority and outwith specialist provision) would gain an insight into the implementation factors required to ensure that we commission the right support/provision at the right time.'

A few respondents felt that research should include or be stand-alone research into the experiences of children and young people:

  • '…research must include children's experience of education and support to access educations so that we are better informed about how well we are meeting the holistic needs of children and young people in our learning provision';
  • Commissioned research should focus on increasing understanding of the educational and habilitation experience and outcomes of the young people themselves.'

Good Practice

A theme raised by some respondents was to take learning from other good practice and to consider this alongside other research not only in Scotland but across United Kingdom as well as internationally:

  • 'While there is recent research into 'what works' in Europe and England/Wales, a close look at what's working well in Scotland would help to share effective practice.';
  • 'It is important that research questions are identified and current research (including that of international field) are considered; research for research sake is not needed.';
  • 'It would be beneficial for the report to reflect the fact that there is already a significant amount of research around supporting children with complex additional support needs some of which has been developed in response to the Doran review.'

Definition of Complex Additional Support Needs

One respondent suggested that research could be undertaken to develop a definition of complex additional support needs – 'The description of complex additional support needs is a helpful starting point but a more robust definition needs to be researched and developed in order to help determine which children have the greatest needs and therefore require support via these funds.'

Informal Exclusion

Enquire suggested that research into informal exclusion would be helpful – 'We have received an increase in the number of enquiries about children out of school for a reason other than a formal exclusion and think it would be helpful for research to be commissioned to better understand the reasons behind informal exclusion, their number and level of education being provided for children and young people with complex additional support needs out of school.'

Training

39 respondents commented on this section. The large majority of those respondents confirmed that training should be in the scope of services to be commissioned.

In last year's consultation on 'Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve excellence and equity – a governance review'[3] one theme that emerged in relation to supporting pupils with additional support needs, was Initial Teacher Education and Teacher Training. A few respondents in this consultation also raised this theme. The National Parent Forum of Scotland stated – 'Parents frequently tell us that they would like staff, working with children with all levels of ASN, to undergo more thorough training.'

Respondents felt that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) around additional support needs and inclusion needed strengthening. In relation to the training student teachers receive in supporting pupils with additional support needs some of the comments were:

  • '#IncludED in the Main found that 98% of the education workforce feels that teacher training does not adequately prepare them for teaching young people with learning disabilities. We therefore believe modules on Disability Inclusion, Additional Support Needs strategies and Positive Behaviour Support should be incorporated into ITE programmes, as well as into the new Masters Qualification for Headship.'
  • 'Training embedded within teacher training programme would be welcomed to ensure that all newly qualified teachers added coming into the profession with an understanding of the needs of children with the full range of additional support needs.'

A couple of respondents provided suggestions on how ITE could deliver improvement on training around additional support needs:

  • 'All schools have children and young people with additional support needs and a compulsory placement within an additional support needs context for teachers in training would help develop empathy, knowledge and understanding of this area.'
  • 'Targeted resourcing in order to support student teacher placements and probationary opportunities within special education provision also requires a more strategic approach.'

In relation to on-going teacher training and professionalism, many respondents felt that further training on supporting pupils with additional support needs was crucial. Comments included:

  • 'Mandatory additional support needs training at schools'
  • 'Compulsory placement in additional support needs establishment/base is crucial.'
  • '#IncludED in the Main found that 30% of education professionals felt there was not enough specific CPD for teaching young people who have learning disabilities. There is a clear need for the Scottish Government to commission new accredited CPD courses on learning disability.'
  • 'Uptake of these CPD courses by education staff should be monitored as part of the National Improvement Framework.'
  • 'would welcome an increased availability of specialist complex additional support needs knowledge and additional support for learning staff… SCLD would promote training of specialist Additional Support Needs teachers…'

A few respondents suggested that some investment in national training models / pathways would be helpful:

  • 'Further national training to be shared so models are consistently understood across all authorities and not disparate between authorities. More examples of national models of approaches.'
  • 'Models of good practice would be helpful.'
  • 'There needs to be a nationally approved standard and rigorous follow through. Local variation can be within agreed parameters. There should be a commonality to ensure equity across Scotland.'
  • 'Systems in place to support national provision to support local authorities.'

One respondent indicated that there might be potential through the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives to deliver training more strategically across regions, which could be especially beneficial for remote and rural areas.

A few respondents raised the theme of finance and resources, calling on increased investment in teacher and support staff training in additional support needs.

Section 3. 10 Year Strategy

Question 6: What are your views on the National Commissioning Groups proposal that the first phase of strategic commissioning will focus on pathfinder (testing) activity on training, development and research? Are there any particular areas of training which should be focussed on?

49 respondents commented on this section. 3 respondents gave a definitive 'No' to pathfinder (testing) activity on training, development and research. 2 felt that this was the wrong starting point, one suggesting that the 'starting point should be the child' and the other that the funding should be directed toward direct services that benefit the children.

18 respondents indicated that pathfinder (testing) activity on training, development and research was the correct starting point – '…these initial steps could play a useful role in supporting the development of the Strategy, and in ensuring that it meets its aim and objectives.'

6 respondents confirmed that they felt unable to agree or disagree, citing a lack of information or clarity in the strategy as to what the pathfinder activity would include.

Due to the structure of the answer in the 20 remaining responses, it was not possible to determine whether they agreed or disagreed with the proposed pathfinder approach.

The following were the main themes identified by respondents as areas requiring pathfinder activity:

  • Inclusion Pedagogy and CPD Pathway;
  • Leadership training;
  • Online & distance learning;
  • Research on attainment / outcomes;
  • Parental and Child Engagement;
  • Social communication and positive behaviours.

The most common area identified by respondents for the focus of pathfinder activity was training and development. The majority suggested that teacher training and development in Inclusion Pedagogy was vital with a few respondents calling for the development of CPD/CLPL Pathways:

  • 'Inclusive pedagogy should be prioritised on training. This needs to be universally identified with an agreed CPD pathway.'
  • 'Training needs should focus on a generic programme for all practitioners in all areas of complex additional support needs.'
  • 'We recommend that training should focus on Inclusion for children and young people with complex additional support needs..'
  • 'Modules on Disability Inclusion, Additional Support Needs strategies and Positive Support should be incorporated into Initial Teacher Education programmes, as well as into the new Masters Qualification for Headship. '
  • 'Access to high quality continuous, relevant and timely professional development is equally – if not more – important to support teachers in their role.'
  • 'Our members consistently tell us that they need more support to deliver the best outcomes for children with ASN. Specialist CLPL requires adequate resourcing and it is vital that this is factored into the pathfinder phase.'

Two respondents suggested that the development of the training should be multi agency, including input from those in the specialist/independent sector – 'The skills and experience of the special sector could be utilised to facilitate training for staff at all levels.'

Another idea put forward from a few respondents was the suggestion that 'Online and/or Distance Learning' should be invested and developed for the Pathfinder activity as this would ease access issues and reduce training cost.

Leadership training was also highlighted as an area that the Pathfinder activity could focus on. One respondent said – 'modular leadership training which links theory to practice and has a strong experiential element, providing pathways for progression for leaders'.

Training and research into attainment and outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs was an area raised in a couple of the responses. One respondent suggested that training, in how to track and monitor is needed – 'Training in tracking and monitoring progress for this population of children and young people should be developed and delivered'. Other respondents felt that research that supported the development of a framework/model that identified and measured positive outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs was much needed for this area of education provision. This links back to earlier themes reported in Section 2, Question 5.

Another theme from responses to this question was parent and child engagement. The response were not clear whether they were advocating research or training or both. A couple of responses suggested that training for staff in 'effective and useful engagement with the parents/carers and children' for whom decisions will impact on, is needed – 'Training to that extent needs to support and promote "the team around the child" and promote an understanding of the impact on the family in caring for a child with additional needs.'

A few responses also highlighted Social Communication and Positive Behaviours training. Indicating this would benefit teachers and support staff, working with children and young people with complex additional support needs – 'Communication, understanding how an individual communicates and engages is core and prevents misunderstanding about communicative behaviours which challenge.' A few respondents highlighted the work of CALL Scotland in supporting communication – providing training for teachers and support staff in the use of Assistive Technologies.

Finally, a few of the respondents suggested that the strategy would benefit from outlining a plan for implementation.

Question 7: For the purposes of this document, the National Improvement Framework drivers have been adapted and therefore reflect particular concerns related to children with complex additional support needs? Do you have any suggestions for additions or alternative wording, which should be included? Please set it out against the relevant heading below.

Overall, there were 61 responses with answers to one or more parts of Question 7.

Service Total number of responses
Service Leadership 31
Education Services 32
Practitioner Professionalism 34
Parental Engagement 35
Assessment of Children's Progress 35
Service Improvement 31
Performance Information 28

A few respondents felt that this section of the strategy would benefit from further development. Some respondents citing education reform as the reason.

One suggestion for further development of this section, and a recurring theme, is for the strategy to include a timeframe. Specifically, five respondents suggested this section of the strategy could be improved by the inclusion of a timeframe and plan for implementation.

Service Leadership

A few respondents felt that the first three sections under 'Service Leadership', 'Education Services' and 'Practitioner Professionalism' should be one section, suggesting these come under the title of Leadership and Professional Development. A few respondents suggested that the National Improvement Framework should not be further developed for this group of children, citing the Framework as it stands should apply to all children and young people, including those with complex additional support needs.

There were four suggestions for alternative wording for this section:

  • Change 'Leaders at all levels and in all relevant services should evidence on-going professional learning commensurate with their areas of practice and responsibility' to 'Leaders at all levels and in all relevant services must evidence on-going professional learning commensurate with their areas of practice and responsibility.'
  • Change 'on-going professional learning' to 'on-going learning and practice.'
  • 'It would be helpful to add 'across sectors and disciplines including education, social care and health' to this section.'
  • 'Re-word 'Leaders at all levels' to 'Everyone at all levels.'

Two respondents put forward the suggestions that there should be a requirement for ASN authority leaders and/or ASN specialist to have an appropriate qualification, such as an ASN Masters level qualification. Observing that in some local authorities, someone who did not have an appropriate qualification, skills or knowledge of working in the additional support held the position of ASN Manager.

There was also a suggestion that there needed to be a greater emphasis on evidence of service leadership in the complex additional support needs sector/field. With the suggestion that a way to do this could be through local outcome improvement plans with identified Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). There are some local authorities who have adopted this approach and it was suggested that some evidence gathering could be undertaken to identify good practice.

Education Services

Many welcomed the development of appropriate leadership development programmes within the area of complex additional support needs. Acknowledging that these would build and link to already established Education Scotland and SCEL Frameworks and reflect collaborative working with Universities and the GTCS. Most agreed however, that this area needed further explanation and suggested that a flow chart or leadership model would help to illustrate how this section of the strategy would work in practice – 'A table or flow-chart to illustrate how the strategy will work in practice would help to clarify…' and 'The second paragraph states that "Practitioners in the writing, delivery and involvement in the initial programme will reflect input by senior managers across all sectors, working collaboratively." More information on what this collaborative working will look like would be welcome.'

One respondent stated 'These paragraphs should be polished, as it is currently difficult to follow what this section means for commissioning decisions. It seems that most of the points made are about evaluation and, if this is the intention, this should be made clearer.'

EIS stated 'We broadly support the approach suggested, but would reiterate our view that 'leadership' as supported by new development programmes should be conceived of as a shared endeavour across all levels of education, and we would endorse a distributive model of leadership, which includes all educators and not only those who are in promoted/senior management posts.'

One respondent stated 'The involvement of a wider group of collaborators in the development of the leadership development programme would be beneficial and that family/carers/parents are also involved in the development as they and their children are the end recipients of service.'

Practitioner Professionalism

While most respondents were supportive of this section on Practitioner Professionalism the majority expressed the view that the strategy for Practitioner Professionalism should be wider, bolder and not to just focus on teacher professionalism. A few respondents called for this section of the strategy to be widened to include other professionals working with children with complex needs – 'support staff, classroom assistants, lunch and playground supervisors and go beyond the school gate; look to widen this to all professionals supporting children with complex additional support needs such as, Allied Health Professionals, Social Workers and other agency staff.'

The other main theme to emerge in response to this section was a call to look beyond just delivery through study at Masters Level. Some respondents asked that other accreditation methods were explored.

Enquire suggested this section of the strategy should reference the Doran Review, as well as reference the National Improvement Framework. Specifically referring to the Doran Review recommendations about training and development in Recommendations 2, 3, 5 and 6. However, the Scottish Government did not accept Recommendation 6 of the Doran Review, as it is for local authorities to plan their resources according to local circumstances and priorities. Recommendation 3 was partially accepted by Scottish Government. The actions relating to Recommendations 2, 3 and 5 are complete and the strategy will make reference to these and actions taken.

Finally, a few respondents highlighted the recent announcements under Education Reform and ask that this section be reviewed during the consultation to consider this.

Parental Engagement

This section was widely supported by 34 of the 35 respondents who responded. However, the supporting comments were wide ranging, making identification of common themes/ideas and suggestions difficult.

Most respondents welcomed the proposal for initial action research but highlighted that the timescale mentioned in the strategy of 2016-2018 was no longer realistic unless this research had already begun.

One respondent stated - 'Effective parental engagement will be central to success. The existing funding to grant-aided special schools, in some instances, has created a perception that this is therefore the most effective and desirable way of meeting children and young people's needs. The impact of removing young people from their local community can be life-long. It is hoped that this strategy will reinforce the importance of inclusion and provide support to ensure that inclusion is highly effective in improving outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs.'

In addition, some respondents called for the key theme of transitions to be widened to cover all aspects of the child and/or young person's journey – 'Parental involvement and engagement should be consistent and good practice embedded throughout that journey.'

Two respondents highlighted previous research projects. One was in relation to the involvement/engagement of the child/young person their parent/carer/family in transitions – this was the 'Facilitating Inclusive Education and Supporting the Transition Agenda (FIESTA): Best Practice Report' dated February 2014.

One respondent suggested that it would be helpful if there were examples given to illustrate what was meant by 'strong partnership working'. They felt the term was broad and gave a sense of expectation for the strategy and therefore, the strategy should be clear 'what effective partnership working looks like.' The Code of Practice for Additional Support for Learning[4] provides information on 'strong partnership working' as well as, case studies.

It was highlighted by a few respondents that the mention of 'the corporate parent' had not been used or referenced elsewhere in the strategy; and it was not until section that the term 'corporate parent' was used. It was suggest that it would be helpful for a Glossary to be added at the beginning which exampled that the definition of parent in the strategy included carer and corporate parent.

Assessment of Children's Progress

There were 35 responses to this section. Twenty respondents confirmed they welcomed research and trialling of a range of assessment models to assess the progress of children and young people with complex additional support needs. However, a few of these respondents felt that providing more clarify and/or detail would benefit understanding and manage expectations around assessment. A couple of comments were:

  • 'It would be beneficial to clarify whether the trialling of assessment models comprises newly developed models or an evaluation of existing models. It may be beneficial in the first instance to collate different models being used across Scotland.'
  • 'The strategy requires more detail on the trial of a range of assessment models for children and young people with additional support needs.'

The most common theme to emerge in this section was a call for assessment tools and/or models for children and young people with complex additional support needs to be broaden to cover not only academic achievement but to cover areas of health, wellbeing, happiness, independence/habilitation and communication.

  • One respondent said – 'There is a reference to attainment and achievement outcomes for children and young people, but this seems too narrow a focus, and a broader set of measures that include health, happiness and wellbeing would be preferable. In addition the fact that some young people with complex additional support needs may also be high achievers should be recognised.'
  • Another respondent stated – 'SCLD would encourage schools and individuals carrying out assessments to consider some of the complexities regarding assessments of academic ability and progress of children and young people with complex additional support needs. This includes, critiques of IQ based assessments in diagnosing learning disability, as well as challenges around the identification and assessment of gifted students with learning disabilities.'
  • Another stated – 'The intention to support the development of models which support the assessment of children and young people with complex additional support needs is welcomed. This should however, include integrated assessment related to the range of children's needs and include eg, factors associated not only with learning, but also communication and physical abilities. The compartmentalisation of assessment negates a holistic view of the child and does not support the connectivity of such elements within the context of children's health and wellbeing.'
  • One of the local authority respondents stated – 'Research into formative and summative assessment of progress on all aspects of wellbeing would be helpful. This should take into account the factors that drive residential school places and the impact of a child living away from a family home and community.'

There was a request from a number of rural and/remote local authorities that the trial of assessment models includes children and young people with complex additional support needs living in these communities - 'Really keen to see this work being prioritised and wish to have good information about this at key stages through the trials. This is crucial to ensuring our children are given the best opportunities to achieve the best they can. We request that trialling takes place in rural and remote settings too as there is a number of barriers that have to be overcomes to ensure equity for our children and young people living in these communities.'

Another area highlighted by a few respondents was the Child's/Education/Co-ordinated Support Plans. Respondents felt that these should be acknowledged in this section of the strategy as assessment tools. Two respondents highlighted that these plans should support assessment of a child and young person with complex additional support needs and that this should be acknowledged. However, it was also highlighted by a couple of respondents that inconsistency in the use of these plans amongst local authorities and professionals, meant that many feel that these plans are not given proper place/consideration within the assessment process of the child/young person; and that the information contained in the plans is of such a poor quality too almost rendering them useless in the assessment process.

The theme of including/involving children in the process was commented on by one respondent. It is an important point and we wanted to acknowledge and include this in the analysis report – ' ..with regard to assessments it is also essential to involve children in the process and therefore develop formats which may rely on the use of pictures, sign language or videos for example. It is key to understand and acknowledge that one size does not fit all. Finally it is also crucial to discuss and explain to parents what is being agreed on and documented into the plan.'

Two respondents suggest that the use of technology in the assessment process should also be part of any research/trial and another respondent wants technology and 'assessment arrangements' to be included in any assessment framework.

Some respondents asked that in order to give more context to the work of this section more information on Standardised Assessments should be provided and where relevant any links to improvement of information gathering for this group of children and young people identified. At the time the strategy was developed, we did not have the standardised assessment. Reference to standardised assessment will be included in the updated strategy document.

Finally, a respondent suggested some additional wording. They suggested that it would be helpful to include "and evaluate their effectiveness" at the end of the first bullet point. This would change to:

  • Supporting the trialling of a range of assessment models developed specifically to provide frameworks for schools and services to support the assessment process for children and young people with complex additional support needs and evaluate their effectiveness.

Service Improvement

There were 31 responses to this section of the strategy with 29 of those responses supportive of Service Improvement. Many respondents welcomed the focus on collaboration to drive forward Service Improvement. Some of the comments were:

  • ' We welcome the focus on improvement through strengthening internal collaboration between education, care and health staff locally, and wider multiagency local authority partners (education and social work). Multi-agency working is central to GIRFEC, and is receiving significant focus (both locally within GIRFEC implementation teams and nationally, for example in the work of the Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative). There is much for NSCG to build on in this area.'
  • 'We welcome the Strategy's proposals around Service Improvement and support for the commissioning of action research to identify solutions and models to deliver positive and productive collaboration which will benefit children and young people with complex additional support needs. Again, we hope this research will prove valuable in providing a model which can be applied to deliver positive outcomes more widely for all pupils and young people with learning disabilities.
  • We are really pleased with this focus on partnership as highlighted in previous comments – this again is a foundation approach that we fully endorse but please remember the family carers.'

A number of respondents put forward some suggestions for alternative wording/additions for this section:

  • 'Would be helpful to include collaboration with families as part of the criteria being identified by research.'
  • 'The focus on inter-agency collaboration seems to narrow, and inter-sector collaboration should also be emphasised.
  • 'Since the whole purpose of the Strategy is service improvement, it would be more appropriate to replace this heading with 'Partnerships' or with a similar heading recognising the importance of partnership working to the development and implementation of the Strategy.'
  • 'It is unclear what is meant by "The research to look at both at internal collaboration between education, care and health staff within a localised setting and also the wider local authority scene (Education and Social Work Services)." The work "internal" is confusing when the first refers to a number of bodies (Local Authorities, NHS Boards and Integrated Joint Boards as well as any third sector agencies providing services) and the second to services within a Local Authority (or Integrated Joint Board)."

Performance Information

28 respondents commented on this section. The majority of the responses fell into two main areas – suggested alternative wording and/or a call for more detail/clarification.

Starting with the suggested alternative wording, the following were put forward:

  • One respondent suggested on the last paragraph under Performance Information which reads 'will by then have become trusted as well informed and authoritative voice leading stakeholders toward a consensus around these aspirations' that this is changed to 'will by then have become a trusted, well informed and authoritative voice leading stakeholders toward a consensus around these aspirations.'
  • One respondent pointed out that the 'Care Commission' should now be referred to as 'Care Inspectorate'.
  • Another respondent suggested 'improved intelligence information across the profile of complex additional support needs' should be replaced with 'improved understanding around the breadth and depth of need in relation to children with complex additional support needs'.
  • A local authority respondent suggested re-wording the first sentence to 'In relation to the key theme of education, care health and the third sector.'
  • Another respondent suggested - 'We urge the Strategy to include in this section that by 2026 the National Strategic Commissioning Group will have demonstrated significant improvement in reducing the attainment gap for all children young people with complex additional support needs'.

The comments relating to a call for more detail/clarification were:

  • 'This section begins with the word 'this' without indicating what that means, and the whole first paragraph ought to be expanded to make it clearer what sort of performance information is required, from whom, and for what purpose. Similarly, the second paragraph sets out the wider context but does not make it explicit why the roles of Education Scotland and the Care Commission are highlighted.
  • 'We feel there could be greater clarity about the timescales for results for each of the drivers. While some give a clear statement of what success will look like in 2026, this is missing from others. We would like to see such a statement attached to all of the drivers, as well as information about all the phases for delivery of the Strategy as it is currently planned.
  • This section also uses the term 'these aspirations' without explaining what the aspirations are. It would be helpful to provide a table or other graphic to show the stages, throughout the life of the strategy, of the development of relevant performance information, and expected outcomes.
  • 'This section could be clearer with respect to what is intended. For example will a specific data suite be compiled or is it more of a developing measurement framework flexible to local contexts?'

Enquire felt more clarity in this section of the strategy would be helpful, and put forward the following suggested change – 'We suggest this needs to be reworded to be clearer to the reader and suggest: "Proposed areas for any funding will be expected to inform practice and improved intelligence across the profile of complex additional support needs. The content of this strategy is located within the current international and national legislative frameworks, and national and local authority policies which seek to protect and promote the rights of every child. Education Scotland and the Care Commission have key responsibilities in these areas. By 2026 the National Strategic Commissioning Group will have become trusted as well as informed and an authorities voice leading stakeholders toward a consensus around the strategy's aspirations".'

Question 8: Do you agree that the Governance arrangements detailed in page 17 are appropriate? If not, what else should be included?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 37 60.66%
No 5 8.197%
Don't know 2 3.279%
Not Answered 17 27.87%

Of the 61 respondents who responded to the consultation 37 agreed with the Governance arrangements. It should be noted that around 27% of respondents did not answer this question. It may be that respondents did not have a view on the governance arrangements or it was not felt to be sufficiently of concern to them (perhaps what is to be delivered is of more importance to these respondents).

A few respondents asked for the membership of the National Commissioning Group and the National Strategic Commissioning Project Board. This information is already provided as links within the strategy document on page 8 under the National Strategic Commissioning section.

The majority of the comments were in relation to representation of parents/carers and children and young people on the National Commissioning Group and the National Strategic Commissioning Project Board.

A few respondents raised some concerns about the impartiality of the National Commissioning Group and questioned whether it was appropriate that providers, who were providers of the types of provision that could be commissioned by the group were members of the group and part of the decision making process. One respondent stated – 'We have some concerns regarding the significant numbers of providers sitting within the commissioning group. While consultation with them during the review was entirely appropriate we would question whether those bidding for contracts should sit within the decision making group of the awarding body. This could be construed as a conflict of interest.' While another respondent stated – 'Whilst it was important to include specialist providers in the development of this strategy there would be significant conflict of interest if they were to sit on the commissioning group.'

A recurring theme raised by a few respondents was a timeline and/or chart that shows short, medium and long-term goals of the strategy – 'The document leaves open many questions that could be addressed by more detailed explanation. For example, the document could use diagrams, tables or flowcharts to make it clear what actions are envisaged, when action should be taken and or completed, who is responsible for each action, and what staging points will be along the way to 2026.' Another respondent stated – 'We are broadly satisfied with the Governance arrangements as outlined. However, we would like to see information on how the progress of delivery will be monitored and a firm commitment to regular progress reporting on the Strategy.'

Question 9: In relation to the overall 10 Year Strategy – are there any areas missing, requiring strengthening, or which are not required and could be removed?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 38 62.30%
No 9 14.75%
Don't know 2 3.279%
Not Answered 12 19.67%

42 respondents provided comments under this section. The comments were wide ranging and it is not possible to cover all 42 in detail. However, most fell under one of the following themes:

  • High level timeline and action plan for implementation
  • Monitoring and reporting on progress of the implementation of the strategy
  • More detail on the transition period from the historic funding model to strategic commissioning and how this will be managed
  • The Education Reform Agenda

The most prominent theme to emerge in this section was that the strategy would benefit from (and be improved by) the addition of a high-level timeline and action plan for implantation. In addition some respondents wanted information on how monitoring and progress reporting of the strategy would be undertaken – 'the Strategy wold benefit form a greater focus on evaluation, measurement and performance monitoring. We feel the document would be more robust with a clear outline of the Strategy's objectives, actions to deliver those objective, key performance indicators and timelines for delivery. This clarity and focus may best be achieved by including a table of objectives, actions, KPIs, and timelines within the Strategy.'

A few respondents asked for clarity on the Transition Period section on page 15 of the strategy, pointing out that this needs careful planning and management.

A number of respondents raised the question of the impact that some of the changes under Education Reform may have on this strategy and ask that this is considered and address in the final version of the strategy.

One respondent commented/suggestions that a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) is undertaken on the strategy to assess its impact on the rights and wellbeing of children.

Another respondent suggested that the strategy should be adjusted into an easy read version for parents/carers.

Finally a few respondents acknowledged the work that has gone into the development of the strategy and the previous work undertaken during the Doran Review – 'This has been a significant and challenging journey and it is a credit to the group leading the developments that such a clear strategy has emerged.'

Question 10: Are there any general comments you would wish to make about 'Scotland's Strategy for the Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs 2017-2026'?

There was a broad mix of responses to this question. Where issues have already been covered earlier in the analysis, they have not been repeated.

The vast majority of respondents welcomed 'Scotland's Ten Year Strategy for the Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs 2017-2026' and saw the need for it. There were comments throughout the consultation requesting clarification and more detail on certain sections of the strategy, which have been highlighted in this analysis report.

There were a few comments about the lack of involvement and participation of parents/carers; and children and young people with complex additional support needs in the development of the strategy document, including the voices and opinions of parents/carers and the children. This has also been recognised in other parts of this report.

There were a few suggestions made across the consultation on the way some of the strategy was worded or set out, as well as suggestions for links to additional material and information sources. There were also requests for the use of Case Studies/Practice Insights to illustrate where good practice is demonstrated and stylistically make the strategy more powerful.


Contact

Email: Deborah.Walker@gov.scot