(UK) Scotland: Students 12 and over can ask for additional help in school

Jan 10, 2018, (UK) Scotland Tes: Teenagers in Scotland given right to ask for extra support in school Amendments to Scotland's Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 come in to force today, extending rights to children aged 12-15 that were previously only available to their parents or carers. Now, when children reach their 12th birthday, they will have the right to ask their school or local authority to find out if they need extra support; have a say in plans made about the support they may get; advocacy to ensure their views are shared and taken into account and legal representation at tribunals; and be actively involved in resolving disagreements about their support A new children's service called My Rights My Say has also been created in Scotland to make sure children know about and understand their rights and are able to access advocacy and legal representation where needed. The news comes, however, amid concerns that spending to support children with additional support needs (ASN) in school has been slashed in recent years, at the same time as numbers are rising. Statistics from the Scottish government published last month show the number of pupils with Additional Support Needs (ASN) is at a record high of 183,491 – an increase of over 55 per cent since 2012. … Scottish teaching union the EIS said that it welcomed the extension of rights for children with ASN but added enabling children to exercise these rights would require investment. There were already "serious concerns" around the workload associated with meeting children’s needs, including multi-agency Child's Plan meetings, said EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan. Mr Flanagan added: "Although we welcome extended rights, we expect the Scottish Government to recognise that the realisation of such rights cannot happen without resourcing.”