Dr Jonathan Sher

Don’t let cuts sever the lifeline of ‘magic’ support

Putting landmark ASL legislation back into focus would offer far-reaching benefits

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Arguably one of the Scottish Parliament’s greatest achievements during its first decade was the 2004 Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Act. What distinguished it from other nations’ legislation – its “magic” – is that children not reaching their learning potential “for whatever reason” are now equally entitled by law to receive the extra help they need to succeed.

Receiving additional support suddenly became more than an aspiration for young learners. It became a “must-do” for schools and other public services, rather than languishing on the “would be nice to do” list. Throughout Scotland ...

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