Call for parents' views on support for learning

Feedback from families will be used to shape practice in classrooms throughout Scotland

Tes Reporter

Call for parents' views on support for learning

Parents of children with additional support needs (ASN) are being asked to share their experiences of schools as part of a new review.

Their feedback, along with views from pupils and teachers, will be used to improve additional support for learning (ASL) in classrooms.

Angela Morgan, former chief executive of youth charity Includem, will chair the review. She will consider the quality of existing provision for pupils with additional support needs, how this is implemented in schools and where current use of resources could be improved.

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Parents will be able to share their views directly via email and through a series of face-to-face engagements planned for later in the year.

Findings will be submitted to the Scottish government and local authorities body Cosla by the end of February 2020.

Ms Morgan said: “I want to hear directly from children and young people, their parents and practitioners about their experiences of additional support for learning, including what we are doing well and where we can improve. 

“I am pleased to have been asked to take on the role of leading this review. Additional support for learning upholds a key principle of Scotland's vision for all our young people – that they have the right to be included, to learn and achieve to their full potential. 

“This review is an opportunity to look at how additional support for learning is implemented in practice and identify areas where good practice should be shared or strengthened.”

Education secretary and deputy first minister John Swinney said: “Through listening to the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs, their families and those who support them, we recognise we need to do more to enhance their experience at school.

“We have recently confirmed approximately 1,000 extra pupil support assistants will be recruited in this academic year.

“We will use the findings of Angela Morgan’s review to build on our progress in this area in ensuring our pupils are getting the appropriate support they need to reach their full learning potential.”

Stephen McCabe, Cosla spokesman for children and young people, said: “Cosla welcomes the review of additional support for learning and the focus on how this is implemented in schools, and the appointment of Angela Morgan as the independent chair. 

“Local authorities are fully committed to all our children receiving a full and inclusive education. Cosla and our member councils will provide any support we can to aid Angela throughout the review. We look forward to considering any recommendations made to Cosla, our member councils and Scottish government.”

Ms Morgan was born in London and has spent over half her life in Scotland. After social-work training at the University of London, she decided to pursue her profession in the third sector, initially in mental health (in Scotland with SAMH) and later working with children and young people.

She was the chief executive of Includem until 2018, and has remained involved in a range of mostly voluntary activity focused on improving lives. She is a member of the workforce journey group for the Independent Care Review. 

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