Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004

A need for additional support does not imply that a child or young person lacks skills or abilities. Additional support refers to any educational support a child or young person requires to help them overcome a barrier to learning or cope with difficult periods that are impacting on their health and wellbeing. Support given can be either short or long-term. 

Additional support is not limited to educational support but can include multi-agency support from Health, Children’s Social Work and third sector agencies. 

Children who are looked after by a Local Authority will automatically be assumed to have additional support needs unless determined otherwise. 

Rights Under the 2004 Act 

Parents, young persons and in some cases children will have the right to: 

  • Ask the Education Authority to find out whether the pupil has additional support needs; 
  • Ask the Education Authority to find out if the pupil requires a Co-ordinated Support Plan or to review an existing plan; 
  • Ask for a specific type of assessment and/or examination; 
  • Ask for the use of mediation services; 
  • Make a placing request to the Education Authority requiring them to place their child in a specified school which can include an independent or grant-aided special school if their child has additional support needs; 
  • Make a placing request to an independent special school if their child has additional support needs; 
  • Make a placing request to another Education Authority for their child to attend a school under the management of that authority; 
  • Be informed of the outcome of requests, reasons why a request is refused and any applicable rights to have a decision reviewed, e.g. through mediation or dispute resolution, or referred to a Tribunal or an Education Authority appeals committee; 
  • Receive a copy of the Co-ordinated Support Plan or, if not eligible for a plan, receive advice and information about their child’s additional support needs; 
  • Have their views taken into account and noted in the Co-ordinated Support Plan; 
  • Appeal to an independent Tribunal on matters relating to Co-ordinated Support Plans and special schools; 
  • Make use of dispute resolution arrangements for matters about additional support needs that are not eligible for formal appeal; and 
  • Have a supporter or representative with them at any meeting with the school, Education Authority and at Tribunal hearings. 


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