Publication - Independent report

Review of additional support for learning implementation: executive summary

Executive summary of a report from an independent review of the implementation of the additional support for learning legislation which began in September 2019 and concluded with the submission of this report and recommendations to Scottish Ministers and COSLA. Full report:

Review of additional support for learning implementation: executive summary
What did children and young people tell the Review

What did children and young people tell the Review


Children and young people[2] told the review that they want to be included in their schools and communities. They feel it is important that those working in schools are aware of additional support needs and sensitive to their individual needs. Children and young people told the Review that these things are important:

  • Meaningful relationships between children and young people and staff are important for learning.
  • A willingness to adapt teaching methods to children and young people's learning styles, needs and varying pace and challenge, helps them to learn. Using technology can be really helpful here.
  • School needs to be a safe place. Having a choice of calm, quiet or sensory areas in all schools would help facilitate this. Children and young people should be able to choose when they want, or need, to access these spaces.
  • All school staff need to have more knowledge and understanding of additional support needs so they can meet everyone's needs.
  • Children and young people with additional support needs don't want to be underestimated for their ability and capability. Their additional support need should not define them.
  • More understanding and empathy from peers would improve their learning experience.
  • Timely responses to bullying were important for children and young people.
  • Support for children and young people with additional support needs must be consistent. It should be available whenever people need it and all staff should make sure they support a child or young person in the same way.
  • Communication needs to improve. Primary and secondary schools need to talk to each other. There also needs to be more communication between schools and other organisations that provide support, and children and young people.
  • Children and young people need to feel they have involvement in information sharing as part of decision making. Children and young people have their own views on what works for them and what kind of support they need.
  • Additional Support for Learning needs to be adequately funded to ensure everyone gets the support they need, when they need it.

Overarching Recommendation: Children and young people participation

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.