Despite the new presumption that pupils with additional support needs should be taught in 'mainstream' schools, those who work in special schools believe there will always be a place for the dedicated establishment, writes Douglas Blane
What the new Additional Support Act means for pupils, parents and schools The dynamics of mainstream and special school education could change further, now that the Additional Support for Learning Act has come into force (November 14, 2005). The Act:
* introduces coordinated support plans (CSPs) for pupils with multiple or complex needs
* strengthens parents' rights through dispute resolution services
* places a duty on councils, education, health and social services to work together to support children and take account of their views
* sets up independent tribunals to hear appeals about CSPs
* requires schools to prepare pupils for life beyond the classroom.
Kathryn Hunter, senior manager of Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning , said: "The law does mean that a much wider range of children will be eligible for extra support".
The Scottish Executive is providing councils with extra funding to support implementation of the Act: pound;9.5 million in 2005-6 and pound;12.5 million in 2006-7 and 2007-8.
Code of practice for professionals: www.scotland.gov.ukPublications 2005081510581758187 Guidance from Enquire: www.enquire.org.uk
Information on the new tribunals: www.asntscotland.gov.uk