APPENDIX 1: LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY BACKGROUND
Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act 2000
This Act sets out the rights of children to school education and the related duties of education authorities. The nature of the duties on education authorities is "to secure that the education is directed to the development of the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of the child or young person to their fullest potential". The Act introduced the policy of 'presumption of mainstreaming', meaning that all children will be expected to attend mainstream school unless certain circumstances apply. Specialist provision can be considered if this is the case. In almost all cases, children and young people with dyslexia are educated in mainstream educational establishments. 98% of all children and young people in Scotland are educated in mainstream schools.
Disability Strategies and Pupils' Educational Records Act 2002
This Act places education authorities, independent schools and grant-aided schools under duties to prepare Accessibility Strategies to, over time, improve physical access, access to the curriculum and access to school information for disabled pupils.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 requires responsible bodies to actively deal with inequality, and to prevent direct disability discrimination, indirect disability discrimination and discrimination arising from disability and harassment or victimisation of pupils on the basis, or a perceived basis, of protected characteristics, including disability  . The provisions include:
- prospective pupils
- pupils at the school
- in some limited circumstances, former pupils
In addition, under the Equality Act 2010 responsible bodies have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils and provide auxiliary aids and services. The duty is 'to take such steps as it is reasonableto have to take to avoid the substantial disadvantage' to a disabled person caused by a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of a school or by the absence of an auxiliary aid or service.
Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 (as amended)
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended) provides a framework for local authorities and other agencies to support all children. It came into force in November 2005 and its main provisions included:
- establishing the concept of 'additional support needs', which includes dyslexia;
- placing new duties on local authorities and other agencies;
- setting out rights for parents;
- establishing mechanisms for resolving differences for families and authorities, mediation, dispute resolution; and
- establishing the Additional Support Needs Tribunals Scotland ( ASNTS).
The 2009 Act included the following amendments:
- the rights of parents to make out of area placing requests;
- following a successful out of area placing request parental access to mediation and dispute resolution from the host authority;
- increased parental rights in respect of access to the ASNTS; and
- the provision of a new ASNTS national advocacy service.
Getting It Right For Every Child ( GIRFEC) and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 makes provision about the rights of children and young people and provides a legislative basis for many aspects of the GIRFEC approach.
To ensure that children's rights properly influence the design and delivery of policies and services, the Act will:
- Place a duty on the Scottish Ministers to keep under consideration and take steps to further the rights of children and young people, to promote and raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC), and to prepare reports describing this activity;
- Place a duty on the wider public sector to report on what they are doing to take forward realisation of the rights set out in the UNCRC; and
- Extend the powers of Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, so that this office will be able to undertake investigations in relation to individual children and young people.
Wellbeing and Getting it Right for Every Child
To improve the way services work to support children, young people and families, the Act will:
- Ensure that all children and young people from birth to their 18th birthday, or beyond if they remain in school, will have access to a Named Person;
- Put in place a single statutory planning process to support those children who require it;
- Place a definition of wellbeing in legislation; and
- Place duties on public bodies (Community Planning Partnerships) to coordinate the planning, design and delivery of services for children and young people with a focus on improving wellbeing outcomes, and report collectively on how they are improving those outcomes.
Teaching Scotland's Future - Report of a Review of Teacher Education in Scotland (2010)
Graham Donaldson, former HM Senior Chief Inspector of Education, was asked by the Scottish Government to conduct a review of teacher education in Scotland. The Review commenced in February 2010 and reported to Ministers in January 2011. His report, Teaching Scotland's Future, contained 50 recommendations that spanned the full breadth of a teacher's career from selection to an initial teacher education course to enhancing leadership and accomplished teaching. The Government responded to Teaching Scotland's Future in March 2011 and accepted all recommendations in full, in part or in principle.
Key recommendations include:
- The highest priority must be given, at all levels, to strengthening both teacher quality and leadership in Scotland's schools;
- Selection for initial education should be thorough, broad and rigorous and carried out in assessment centres;
- All teachers should be skilled in supporting the development of literacy and numeracy skills and in overcoming barriers to learning such as dyslexia;
- The B.Ed degree should be replaced with degrees that combine academic study beyond education with professional studies;
- Teacher education should be seen as a career-long process, with much closer working amongst schools, universities, local authorities and national organisations;
- The professional development of experienced teachers should be guided by a new set of standards developed by GTCS; and
- A greater range of teachers' professional development should be accredited with Masters-level credits built into Initial Teacher Education qualifications.
Curriculum for Excellence
The original report of the Curriculum Review Group, a Curriculum for Excellence (Scottish Executive, 2004) indicated that all children and young people should be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributorsto society and at work. By providing structure, support and direction to young people's learning, the curriculum should enable them to develop these four capacities. The curriculum should complement the important contributions of families and communities.
The design principles which schools, teachers and other educators should use to implement the curriculum are:
- Challenge and enjoyment
- Personalisation and choice
Within Curriculum for Excellence, personal learning planning is at the heart of supporting learning. The conversations about learning, reviewing progress and planning next steps are central to this process. Planned opportunities for achievement which focus on the learning and progress made through activities across the full range of contexts and settings in which the curriculum is experienced also contribute to the universal aspect of support. It is the responsibility of all practitioners and partners to deliver this universal entitlement within their own teaching environments.
In addition, all children and young people should have frequent and regular opportunities to discuss their learning and development with an adult who knows them well and with whom they have a mutually trusting relationship. This key member of staff has the holistic overview of the child or young person's learning and personal development.