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(UK) Glasgow: Parents protest SPED failure; 'simply not enough places'

Sept 6, 2023, Glasgow Times: Parents stage Glasgow protest to demand more classroom support for ASN pupils
DOZENS of angry parents have staged a protest in the heart of Glasgow calling for more backing for pupils with additional support needs across the city’s schools.

ASN Reform Scotland members gathered in George Square on Wednesday morning to demand education bosses rally the Scottish Government to rethink current policies they say are setting their children up for failure.

Campaigners believe that youngsters and their teachers are being let down by a lack of resource and investment, which often sees children put into mainstream education despite being assessed as qualifying for an additional support needs spot.-

The peaceful demo heard claims that vulnerable children are being left to enter a ‘broken education system’ that is unsuitable for their specific needs – as well as calls for extra funding to be made available to create more ASN places across the city….

“Families are being let down because there’s now an expectation that children should attend mainstream schools despite suffering from complex conditions such as autism, ADHD and crippling anxiety.
"There are simply not enough places, which is an absolute disgrace in this day and age. Our children are being set up to fail in later life because they are leaving school without the help they need, not to mention the emotional toll this takes on them….

The mum-of -one from Drumchapel told the Glasgow Times: “It’s about time the Scottish Government started taking this seriously. We’ve had to fight to get Kyle placed into a specialist unit at his secondary school, which is awful given what he’s gone through.

“There’s just not enough of these places to go around, so it means that someone is always going to miss out. It’s heartbreaking think that a child’s mental health is being pushed to the brink because of a lack of funding.
“Teachers are also crying out for additional help to be put in place, yet nothing is being done. We’re at the protest because Kyle is advocating for others like himself and trying to give them a voice.”…
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We know that the number of pupils identified with additional support needs has increased substantially since 2010. This has been driven by a change to how ASN statistics were gathered in 2010 and, of course, in more children being diagnosed.

“While it is for local councils to determine the most appropriate educational provision, the Scottish Government is committed to improving the experiences and outcomes for young people with additional support needs, which we have outlined in our Programme for Government 2023-24. Ministers will work with teachers to provide additional professional learning opportunities while seeking to build on the Additional Support for Learning Action Plan.

“Spending on additional support for learning reached a record high of £830m in 2021-22. We have also invested an additional £75m [$94M] since 2019-20 (£15m [$19M] per year) and provide over £11m [$14M] of funding to directly support pupils with complex additional support needs and services to children and families each year.

“The Education Secretary met with members of ASN Reform Scotland earlier this year to hear their concerns."


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