Additional support for learning: statutory guidance 2017

Statutory guidance to the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 as amended.

Annex A: Links to Other Legislation, Policies and Guidance

The Act should be read alongside other legislation and policy supporting children and young people in Scotland. Some of the main aspects of these are set out below.

Legislation in the Scotland takes account of international conventions such as United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( UNCRPD).

International conventions and goals

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) applies to everyone under 18. It recognises that all children and young people have rights. There are 42 articles that describe specific rights, 4 of which are described as the underpinning principles: non-discrimination (article 2); commitment to the best interests of the child (article 3); the right to life, survival and development (article 6); and respect for the views of the child (article 12). The UNCRC is reflected in legislation relating to children and young people, e.g. the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Scottish Government has made clear its ongoing commitment to the UNCRC and to promoting and supporting the rights of all children in Scotland as a key strand of our activity to improve outcomes for all.

Part 1 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 imposed duties relating to the UNCRC on the Scottish Ministers and certain public authorities. The Scottish Government’s A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People is our delivery plan to 2021 for the UNCRPD. This is an opportunity to articulate and illustrate the barriers which prevent disabled people from enjoying their human rights, and to work together to develop practical solutions. The Scottish Government appeared before the UN Committee in August 2017 as part of the UK examination.

Article 24 of UNCRPD recognises the rights of persons with disabilities to education and commits states to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.


Equality issues

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and harassment based on certain specified protected characteristics. It further places duties on public authorities to challenge discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations for a range of protected characteristics . These protected characteristics are defined in the Equality Act as race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, and marriage and civil partnership. The provisions of the Act for schools do not apply in relation to age and marriage and civil partnership.

Scottish Government has published Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2015 [109] which includes an Education section commenting on strengths and areas for improvement in tackling inequalities.

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates many of provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights into Scots law. It supports the requirement for local authorities and other bodies not to discriminate on grounds such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status in securing the enjoyment of any of the rights set out in the ECHR. The right to education is set out in Article 2 of the First Protocol to the Convention.

The Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils' Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 places a duty on education authorities, managers of grant- aided schools and the owners of independent schools to prepare a strategy to increase, over time, the physical accessibility of the school environment and the accessibility of the curriculum for pupils with disabilities and prospective pupils with disabilities. This is supported by guidance,

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 regulates parental responsibilities and parental rights and establishes the responsibilities of service providers in matters affecting children‘s care and welfare. Local authorities must provide services designed to minimise the impact of disabilities on children and to allow them to lead lives which are fulfilling. Children’s views must be sought and taken account of in key decisions that affect them.

School education

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 education authorities must provide adequate and efficient school education for children of school age within their area. The Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000 places education authorities under a duty to secure that the education provided is directed towards the development of the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of the child or young person to their fullest potential.

Education authorities should provide education to school age pupils in a mainstream setting unless certain exceptions apply. Education authorities must make special arrangements for pupils who are unable, or where it would be unreasonable to expect them, to attend school through prolonged ill-health.

Education legislation gives certain rights to parents and young people rather than to children in their own right. However, the 2000 Act recognises that children should have the right to express views on issues that affect them. Chapter 7 of the code describes where children's views should be taken into account under the Act.

The Act also sits alongside legislation which recognises that children with legal capacity are able to make some decisions on their own behalf. For example, a child over 12 may consent to any medical procedure or treatment and instruct a solicitor in relation to civil matters, so long as he or she is considered capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences.

Young people (young persons in legislation) have similar rights to parents regarding school education. They may also express their views on, and take decisions about, their school education.

The Education (Scotland) Act 2016 provides additional responsibilities on Scottish Ministers and local authorities to have regard to the need to reduce inequalities of outcomes arising out of socio-economic disadvantage, when exercising their functions relating to school education. The Act also extends certain rights to certain children (referred to as “eligible children” in this Code), in relation to any support needs they may have in order to make the most of their learning while at school. The 2016 Act also amends section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 to ensure that there is a clear process for parents to make complaints to the Scottish Ministers with regard to the carrying out of educational duties by local authorities. The Act also requires that matters which can be considered by the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland cannot be considered by Scottish Ministers under a section 70 complaint. Parents, under the 1980 Act, must ensure that their children of school age receive adequate education suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of their child, either by sending their child to a school managed by the education authority, or by other means, for example, an independent school or home education.

Parents have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their child’s health, development and welfare. This also applies to anyone over 16 who has care or control of a child under the age of 16. In addition, parents can provide their children who are under 18 years of age, with appropriate direction and guidance. They should maintain personal relations and direct contact with their son or daughter on a regular basis, if they do not live with their child. Parents also have a responsibility and a right to act as their child‘s legal representative. Where a person takes a major decision in fulfilling a parental responsibility or right under the 1995 Act they must have regard to the views of the child, taking account of the child‘s age and maturity and whether the child wishes to express a view.

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 places duties on Scottish Ministers, local authorities and head teachers in relation to the provision of information to, and the involvement of, parents in their child’s education The Act aims to make it easier for parents to become involved in their own child‘s education and in their child‘s school more generally.

The Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 set out a range of information that must be provided by local authorities, including information relating to placing requests and information that needs to be contained in School Handbooks.

Other legislation

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) enshrines elements of the Getting it right for every child approach in law: ensuring there is a single planning approach for children who need additional support from services; providing a single point of contact for every child; and fostering a holistic understanding of well-being. It also creates new duties in relation to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and strengthen the Children’s Commissioner role; and gives all 16-year olds in care the right to stay in care until the age of 21 (from 2015); extend the support available to young people leaving care up to the age of 26; and support the parenting role of kinship carers.

Duties under Part 1 of the 2014 Act require specified public authorities, including all local authorities and health boards, to report every 3 years on the steps they have taken to secure better or further effect of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC), an international treaty, which sets out the rights that all children have. The first reports under these new duties are due in 2020.

The 2014 Act also extends 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.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the Public Bodies Act”) provides for the integration of certain local authority and health services, with the aim of improving their quality and consistency, and, ultimately, the wellbeing of service users. Every local authority and its relevant health board has, under the provisions of the Public Bodies Act, prepared and agreed an integration scheme wherein certain functions have been delegated to an Integration Authority. The Integration Authority may be a separate integration joint board, the local authority or health board may take on this role. The functions delegated must, in every area, relate to local adult health and social care services. The legislation also enables some or all children’s acute and community health and social care services to be delegated where agreed locally. The Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 requires that adequate and efficient provision of further and higher education is made in Scotland. Due regard should be given to the requirements of those over school age who have a learning difficulty or disability, which may affect their education. In preparing young people for leaving school, teachers should be aware of legislation covering further and higher education. Under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005, the educational and related needs of students and prospective students of further education colleges and higher education institutions must be regarded.

The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 provides the legislative framework for adoption and permanence for children in Scotland who can no longer live with their natural parents. The Act restates the duty of a local authority to provide an adoption service for placing children with adopters and assessing adopters and widens the range of people who are able to adopt. The Act introduces a court order for accommodating children who cannot live with their natural parents (a "permanence order") and also improves access to a broader range of support services for people affected by adoption, including members of adoptive and original families.

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) 2013 Act The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) 2013 Act enables adults and children and young people to choose how their support is provided, and gives them as much control as they want of their individual budget. The Act requires authorities to explain the nature and effect of four options available for accessing Self-directed Support and to signpost other sources of information and additional support. This requires the authority to provide information about other persons or organisations outwith the authority who can provide assistance or information about the options and how to manage the options and provide information where it considers it appropriate to do so. To provide information about organisations and individuals who can provide independent advocacy services, i.e. services that can advocate on the person’s behalf in relation to the assessment and the selection of the various options provided under the 2013 Act.

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 This Act makes provision in relation to the planning and provision of support for unpaid carers, information and advice for carers and to facilitate carer involvement in certain services. It defines a young carer and places a duty on a responsible authority to offer a “young carer statement [110] ”. This young carer statement will be prepared by the responsible authority and sets out a young carer’s identified personal outcomes, any identified needs and support to be provided by the responsible local authority to the young carer to meet those needs.

Communication Equipment

Legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament in March 2016 and gained Royal Assent on 6 April 2016- Part 4 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 gives children and adults (across all care groups), who have lost their voice, or who are at risk of losing their voice or who have difficulty speaking, a statutory right to the provision of communication equipment and support in using that equipment.

The legislative duty has not yet commenced, although specialist augmentative and alternative communication provision is being, and continues to be, delivered across Scotland by the NHS, often in collaboration with Education, and third sector, as appropriate to the needs of the individual.

British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 The Act promotes the use of British Sign Language including by making provision for the preparation and publication of national plans in relation to British Sign Language and by requiring certain authorities to prepare and publish their own British Sign Language plans in connection with the exercise of their functions; and to provide for the manner in which such plans are to be prepared and for their review and updating.


The Act complements Scottish Ministers' high expectations and aspirations for all of Scotland‘s children and young people. These expectations and aspirations apply across agency, service and professional boundaries. Ministers‘ aspiration for all children and young people in Scotland is that they should be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society and at work. Ministers believe that children and young people should be:

Healthy ... experiencing the highest standards of physical and mental health, and supported to make healthy safe choices

Achieving ... receiving support and guidance in their learning - boosting their skills, confidence and self-esteem

Nurtured ... having a nurturing and stimulating place to live and grow

Active ... offered opportunities to take part in a wide range of activities - helping them to build a fulfilling and happy future

Respected ... to be given a voice and involved in the decisions that affect their well-being

Responsible ... taking an active role within their schools and communities

Included ... receiving help and guidance to overcome social, educational, physical and economic inequalities; accepted as full members of the communities in which they live and learn

to be safe ... protected from abuse, neglect or harm.

The Scottish Government has a wide range of policies which supports the development and well-being of Scotland's children and young people. The broad definition of additional support needs means that application of the Act's provisions requires effective interaction across policies in a number of areas. The following paragraphs describe some of these policy areas.

Getting it right for every child Getting it right for every child is the national approach in Scotland that puts the rights and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of services that support them and provides a framework within which services can offer the right help, at the right time, from the right people.

The Getting it right for every child approach has been national policy in Scotland since 2010. In order to ensure consistency of implementation and to increase the pace of implementation nationally, elements of the approach (notably around the assessment of wellbeing, provision of a Named Person and the Child’s Plan) were included in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, which subsequently became the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. The Getting it right for every child provisions in the 2014 Act are still to commence.


Curriculum for Excellence Curriculum for Excellence, enables all young people in Scotland to gain the knowledge and skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work which will help them become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Under Curriculum for Excellence, there are two main phases of learning for children and young people: the Broad General Education ( BGE) and Senior Phase. The BGE spans five levels and runs from age 3 to the end of S3. It provides children with breadth and depth of learning experiences, so they can develop to be flexible and adaptable young people with a wide range of knowledge and skills. The Senior Phase provides young people with opportunities for greater specialisation and depth. Young people have the opportunity to build up a portfolio of qualifications over the three years of the Senior Phase whilst continuing to develop skills for learning, life and work across the four capacities.

Early Years Framework The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all our children get the best possible start in life, and the expansion of early learning and childcare ( ELC) to 1140 hours per year by 2020 is one of the most important and transformative changes we are making during this Parliamentary session. A Blueprint for 2020 set out our vision for an expansion that will almost double the entitlement of funded ELC to 1140 hours per year by 2020 for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds. In March 2017, the Blueprint Action Plan was published, setting out 31 key steps we will take in 2017-18 to progress delivery on this key commitment. Expanded provision must be accessible and delivered in a way that ensures equality of access for all eligible children, which is why the action plan includes a commitment to provide a new inclusion fund, that will enable staff in early learning and childcare settings to support children with disabilities and additional support needs. Funded providers of ELC will be able to access funding for specialist training and equipment, with a total of £2 million available over the next four years.

Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education: A Delivery Plan for Scotland Scottish Government is committed to raising attainment and making demonstrable progress in closing the gap in attainment between our least and most disadvantaged young people. This Delivery Plan outlines the steps the Scottish Government will take to achieve these improvements, building on the work contained in the National Improvement Framework.

National Improvement Framework The National Improvement Framework aims to provide better information about how well children and young people are doing in education.

That information will help teachers, as well as parents, councils and the Scottish Government, understand which learning and teaching approaches are working well, and where further improvements need to be made.

Assessing children's progress

To make sure everyone understands how well a child is doing, from the beginning of their education through to leaving school, it is important to look at a range of different information, such as:

  • their development in the early years
  • reading, writing, talking and listening skills (literacy)
  • the ability to work with numbers (numeracy)
  • their health and wellbeing
  • national qualifications and awards
  • what they do when they leave school

Assessment already forms part of everyday learning, and teachers draw on their professional knowledge and understanding of the child, using a wide range of assessment information. Ongoing classroom assessment is, and will continue to be, a central part of everyday learning and teaching. Teachers will continue to draw on the full range of assessment activity when considering children’s progress and planning the next steps in their learning. Teachers’ professional judgement is informed by benchmarks for literacy and numeracy and from 24 th August 2017 the Scottish National Standardised Assessments( SNSA) have been made available to all schools. The assessments will provide an excellent source of evidence for teachers to use when assessing children’s progress. It is important that teachers know how well pupils are progressing, in order to ensure they are developing and moving forward in their learning.

Parents, Families and Communities

Parental, family and community engagement is a key component within the Scottish Government’s vision for the future governance of Scottish education as set out in “Education Governance: Next Steps - Empowering Our Teachers, Parents and Communities to Deliver Excellence and Equity for Our Children”:

Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures Guidance for schools, including early learning and childcare settings, and local authorities has been produced on supporting Traveller children and young people and their families to engage in school education to improve their life outcomes. This guidance is expected to publish by the Scottish Government before the end of 2017.


The Scottish Government document “Ready to Act - A transformational plan for children and young people, their parents, carers and families who require support from allied health professionals ( AHPs) in Scotland”, was published in January 2016. The plan is underpinned by the Getting it right for every child principles with a focus on wellbeing outcomes and effective relationships to achieve these collaboratively with partners across health, education, social care and the 3rd sector.

Health for All Children (Hall 4) guidance was issued to NHS Boards in 2005 following the review of child health screening, surveillance and health promotion activity by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The guidance sets out the core programme of screening, surveillance and health promotion contacts which every child should receive and recommends tiered levels of support according to assessed need.

The Universal Health Visiting Pathway for Scotland was published in October 2015 It presents a core home visiting programme to be offered to all families by health visitors as a minimum standard. It consists of 11 home visits to all families, three of which include a formal review of the family and child’s health by the health visitor (13-15 months, 27-30 months and 4-5 years). It covers the antenatal to pre-school period and provides an opportunity for health visitors, children and their parents to build a strong relationship, in which health visitors can appropriately support families including acting as a gateway to other services. This early engagement will provide health visitors with a sound foundation for their role as the named person for children under 5 years of age.

The pathway is based on several underlying principles: promoting, supporting and safeguarding the wellbeing of children, Person-centeredness, Building strong relationships from pregnancy, Offering support during the early weeks and planning future contacts with families and focusing on family strengths, while assessing and respectfully responding to their needs.

Family Nurse Partnership The FNP is a preventive programme and has the potential to transform the life chances of the most disadvantaged children and families in our society, helping to improve social mobility and break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. It lasts from early pregnancy until the child reaches two, and is aimed at young, first time mothers. The Family Nurse Partnership Programme is being expanded to reach all to reach all eligible first time mothers by the end of 2018. /policies/maternal-and-child-health/family-nurse-partnership/

The refocused school nurse role in Scotland As part of the Chief Nursing Officer’s Transforming Nursing, Midwifery and Health Professions Programme, a refocused school nurse role was developed to target children and families identified by health visitors as requiring additional support and who had been allocated an “additional” Health Plan Indicator ( HPI) at their four-year review.

It is anticipated that a robust system of assessment in the first five years of life will significantly improve identification of children, young people and families who would benefit from additional support and resource.

Additional support will also be provided for children and families with behavioural and developmental concerns and/or complex needs, all looked-after children ( LAC), and those who have (or may be at risk from) factors associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences in relation to nine priority pathway areas: emotional health and wellbeing, substance misuse, child protection, domestic abuse, looked after children, homelessness, youth justice, young carers and transitions.

Partnership-working, particularly with parents/carers, as well as professionals, will be central to the refocused role. Work has been undertaken to refocus school nursing education pathways, educational preparation and continuing professional development activity to ensure provision responds to future service and population requirements. The Scottish Government will work with NHS Boards in implementing this refreshed role.

Mental Health Strategy The Scottish Government published a new Mental Health Strategy in March 2017, and see it as the centrepiece for this Government’s focus on improving Mental Health.

Our Vision, as contained in the Strategy is of a Scotland where people can get the right help at the right time, expect recovery, and fully enjoy their rights, free from discrimination and stigma.

Children and families

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with the Child Protection Committees set up throughout the country to improve the protections offered to children and young people in our communities. These Child Protection Committees ( CPCs) are responsible for the delivery of effective child protection measures in their area.

The Scottish Government launched a Child Protection Improvement Programme ( CPIP) in 2016 to deliver improvements in child protection. As part of CPIP an independently chaired review was commissioned of the formal child protection systems. The Systems Review report and a report on phase 1 of CPIP was published in March 2017. The Scottish Government accepted all the recommendations and actions set out in both reports and is working to implement them. Progress is also being made in the implementation of the Getting it right for every child approach for children’s services, as it applies to children who are at risk of significant harm.

Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 The Children’s Hearings system has undergone a period of change following the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011. The Act has strengthened and modernised the Children's Hearings system and brought into one place most of the children’s hearings related legislation. Educational outcomes for looked after children

The Scottish Government’s aim is that there should be no difference between the outcomes for children and young people who have been looked after and their peers who have not, particularly in relation to educational achievement. Whilst progress has been made in the last few years, the gap in educational attainment for looked after children has historically been lower [111] .

The Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better [112] (Scottish Executive 2007) sets out a framework for action, most of which was completed during 2008. The key publications are:

These Are Our Bairns [113] – guidance for community planning partnerships on how to be a good corporate parent, which sets out the responsibilities of all members of the extended corporate family and how they can measure their success.

The We Can and Must Do Better Training Materials – a comprehensive revision of the Learning With Care materials, comprising of an award- winning interactive DVD - ROM, The national evaluation of educational outcomes of Looked After children pilots, with an accompanying practical guide for practitioners. This was later updated and developed into an online training resource [114] .

Core Tasks for Designated Managers in Educational and Residential Establishments [115] , which up-dates the previous Learning With Care provisions.
The Resource Pack for Care Leavers is a DVD for local authorities to customise, to provide accessible advice to young people leaving care.

HM Inspectors of education published a self evaluation toolkit in 2009 – How Good is Our Corporate Parenting [116] – which will support councils and other providers in assessing the services they provide to looked after children and young people and care leavers.

The Looked After Children Regulations 2009 sets out the responsibilities placed on local authorities, for preparing and reviewing care plans, which addresses the immediate and longer term needs of the child or young person, with a view to safeguarding and promoting his or her welfare. Where a looked after child or young person also has an individualised educational programme or a co-ordinated support plan, the authority may decide to review these within the care plan review process. Any meetings should fully involve the parents and the child or young person in preparing the plan or plans. A copy of the care plan should go to parents, young persons and all those who have contributed to the plan or plans. It should be noted that a copy of the co-ordinated support must be given to the child (where the child has attained the age of 12 years and if the plan is prepared following a request made under sections 6(2), 7(2)(a) or 10(4)), child’s parent or the young person.

Corporate Parenting

Part 9 of the 2014 Act put the concept of corporate parenting onto a statutory footing in Scotland from 1 April 2015. It establishes a framework of duties and responsibilities for relevant public bodies, requiring them to be systemic and proactive in their efforts to meet the needs of looked after children and care leavers. Statutory Guidance on Part 9 [117] published by the Scottish Government, specifies that corporate parenting refers to an organisation’s performance of actions necessary to uphold the rights and secure the wellbeing of a looked after child or care leaver, and through which their physical, emotional, spiritual, social and educational development is promoted, from infancy though to adulthood. Corporate parenting is about certain organisations listening to the needs, fears and wishes of children and young people, and being proactive and determined in their collective efforts to meet them. These organisations include post -16 education institutions and Skills Development Scotland. The Act requires all corporate parents to prepare, publish and review their Corporate Parents Plan, detailing how they will meet their duties.

Getting It Right For Looked After Children And Young People Strategy

This strategy published in 2015 is built on the principles of Getting it right for every child and reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to improve outcomes for looked after children, and lays out its vision for the future. It aims to consolidate the aims that have become well understood within the sector over recent years, reaffirms ambitions and builds on work underway. The strategy reflects the things that young people, practitioners and carers have said are important, and rests on the best available evidence. This approach is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) - which makes clear what children can expect from Scottish Government and what its responsibilities are towards them.

The UNCRC particularly sets out children's rights to care and protection where they are looked after or adopted, and their right to have their views heard. At the heart of the strategy is the importance of relationships for Scotland’s looked after children and young people. For children and young people, the quality of relationships with carers, their birth families, social workers, other trusted adults, and corporate parenting is fundamental to their ability to develop and thrive. The priorities and activities outlined in this strategy reflect this.

Further information is at this webpage

Youth Justice

The national youth justice strategy Preventing Offending: Getting it right for children and young people was published in June 2015 This builds on the significant impact of shift to prevention in 2008, which has seen numbers of children and young people in the justice system reduce substantially. This focus on early intervention laid the foundations for a whole system approach ( WSA) to offending by young people, which was rolled out in 2011, and remains underpinned by Getting it right for every child ( GIRFEC).

Included, Engaged and Involved Part 2: A Positive Approach to Preventing and Managing School Exclusions is a refreshed version of the previous guidance on managing school exclusions, which was published in March 2011. This refreshed guidance will give a stronger focus on approaches that can be used to prevent the need for exclusion.

Post school education services

The Scottish Government is firmly committed to ensuring that all students with a disability, long term medical condition or additional support needs, are supported as they study in further and higher education. This is through institutional support provided to each institution, and also through support directly to students.

Colleges, specifically, have access to ring-fenced funding, via the Scottish Funding Council ( SFC), to provide specialised support for individual students with specific educational support needs on mainstream courses – at a total of £50 million. SFC also provide colleges with funding which supports bespoke provision (commonly referred to as DPG18).

Support is also available to students through the Additional Support Needs for Learning Allowance, a non-income assessed payment. This fund provides additional funding for students who, by virtue of their disability, are obliged to incur additional personal expenditure arising from their attendance at college. For example, colleges can use this fund to pay for taxi transportation or specific equipment for a student, which would not normally be covered by the mainstream travel and study costs.

In addition, all colleges and universities have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that students with disabilities which affect their studies are not placed at a disadvantage. This is an anticipatory duty which requires education providers to continually review and anticipate the general needs of disabled people, rather than simply waiting until an individual requests a particular adjustment.

Learning Disabilities and Autism

The keys to life the learning disabilities policy and The Scottish Strategy for Autism call for an inclusive approach to services for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism. These policies recognise how the transition phase between child and adult services is crucial, and the need for partnership between Education and Integrated Joint Boards in planning services. That is why the Scottish Government supports the Scottish Transitions Forum in highlighting the Principle of Good Transitions 3 as a framework to support the transition into young adulthood. The Forum consists of over 750 members, and aims to improve the experience of children and young adults (14 to 25 years), as they make the transition to adult life. The principles document, which contains seven principles, provides a framework to inform, structure and encourage the continual improvement of support for young people with additional needs, between the ages of 14 and 25. It clearly demonstrates how to ensure good transitions, and is the standard all services are expected to work towards attaining.


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