Who can receive additional support for learning in Scotland?
The Scottish Government identified that not all children would reach their full potential through education alone. The Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act 2004 was introduced, recognizing that additional support for learning needs come from a wide range of factors which may be the long or short term. Examples of factors which demonstrate a need for additional support are family circumstances where the child is affected by abuse, poverty, drug and alcohol misuse, or homelessness, disability, bullying, bereavement, developmental issues. The introduction of this Act broadened the original ‘Special Education Needs’ which only covered specific learning needs. The introduction of Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act 2004, emphasized partnership working between NHS Boards and Local Authorities sharing knowledge together and working with parents and families to ensure the provision of additional support to meet the individual needs of these children and young people giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential. And the obligation to provide a Coordinated Support Plan when a child requires significant additional support from more than one agency. Both Acts combine the principles of the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) national approach, emphasizing the wellbeing of the child.
The introduction of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, part 4, has influenced the professional practice of Health Visitors, by adding to their job description, the role of Named Person. This role transfers over to the education authority once the child begins school. The purpose of this role is for the Health visitors to support and safeguard the wellbeing of children and their families in line with National Assessment tools, helping families to access support from other services, and for health visitors to raise any concerns with other services or authorities.