New rights for children with additional support needs: The Education (Scotland) Act 2016

Posted: 30/03/2016 | Education,

Children with additional support needs have been granted further rights in a new law brought in by the Scottish Government. 

The Education (Scotland) Act 2016 also aims to introduce a range of improvements to Scottish education including improving the attainment of pupils from poorer backgrounds, widening access to Gaelic medium education and giving children a voice in matters that affect them.

Currently parents, carers and pupils over the age of 16 with capacity (which means they understand what is being asked) have certain rights relating to education and additional support.

But the new act, which should come into force in 2017, will extend these rights to children with capacity aged 12 and over. 

The move is a bid to help younger children influence decisions about the identification, planning and review of their needs. 

Scottish advice service for additional support for learning, Enquire, described the move as ‘significant for Scotland’s development of more rights for children’.

The rights of parents, carers and young people with capacity relating to education and additional support include:

  • Ask the education authority to find out whether they, or their child, has additional support needs

  • Ask for a specific type of assessment to find out what their, or their child’s, additional support needs are and seek advice

  • Request a specific type of assessment to find out if they, or their child, require a co-ordinated support plan

  • Be asked for their, or their child’s, views and have them taken into account and noted in the co-ordinated support plan

  • Have their, or their child’s, case heard by an Additional Support Needs Tribunal if they are involved in a dispute relating to a co-ordinated support plan or the education authority’s decision to refuse a placing request

  • Ask the local authority responsible for their, or their child’s, education to find out whether they require a co-ordinated support plan, and review an existing plan

For further information about The Education (Scotland) Act 2016, visit Enquire’s blog. For answers to questions about you or your child’s rights to education or additional support contact Enquire’s helpline on 0345 123 2303.