What are Additional Support Needs?

“Additional Support Needs” is a broad and inclusive term applying to children and young people who, for whatever reason, require extra help compared to their peers in order to help them make the most of their school education and to be included fully in their learning. 

Additional support needs can arise from a variety of circumstances. These fall broadly into four categories.  

  • The Learning Environment  
  • Family Circumstances  
  • Disability or health  
  • Social and emotional factors  

Additional support may be required in the short or long term. 

Policy of Inclusion 

We are committed to the policy of inclusion to ensure that children and young people in need of additional support receive timely and effective interventions.  

We aim to have a flexible continuum of provision to provide the most appropriate support to the individual child or young person. Wherever possible, children and young people should have the opportunity to be educated in their local community.  

Aspirations for our education provision reflect international research - educationally inclusive schools are those where teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of every child and young person matters. Schools show commitment to inclusion not only in their performance, but also in their ethos and willingness to offer opportunities to learners who are experiencing barriers to learning and participation.  

We are committed to the presumption of mainstreaming, as set out in the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000. This means that children with additional support needs should attend their local school whenever possible.  

All primary and secondary schools provide support for children and young people with additional support needs. We also maintain a range of support services such as Educational Psychology, Sensory Support, English as an Additional Language and Autism Outreach. The majority of pupils will have their needs met in a mainstream school with access to specialist advice and support when appropriate. A very small number of children may require access to a more specialised provision for a period of time or access to a placement within our specialist provisions.  

How are Additional Support Needs identified?

Some children may have their additional support needs identified at a young age e.g. if they have recognised medical conditions with those needs being brought to our attention by Health professionals prior to the child starting education. Other children’s needs may emerge later in their development and may be brought to our attention by parents, health professionals or social workers.  

When a child is in nursery or school, the staff working with the child are responsible for monitoring progress and identifying any need for additional support. Teachers assess learning as part of their daily classroom practice taking stock of their learners’ achievements and progress in order to plan ahead and record and report on progress. This enables them to take action to address any difficulties at an early stage and identify pupils who may need additional support.  

Where pupils have multiple or complex needs which are enduring and require significant multi-agency support, their school, with support from educational psychology and central education services, will consider whether a co-ordinated support plan (CSP) is required. Where a looked after child is identified as having additional support needs, the requirement for a CSP will be considered.  

Under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 parents, eligible children (aged between 12 and 16) and young persons (over 16) may request the Authority establish whether they or their child have additional support needs or require a CSP. They may also request that the Authority arrange for an assessment or examination to be carried out which may include an educational, psychological or medical assessment or examination. Any such request should be made to the child or young person’s school.  

More information about CSPs may be found here. 

How we support - Continuation of provision 

Aberdeen City operates a continuum of provision to support the needs of all learners. The focus is on the level of individualisation, specialist knowledge or resources required to enable the child or young person to be successful.  

Key features of the continuum include:  

  • An emphasis on inclusion with early intervention in the most effective and least intrusive way;  
  • Early and meaningful involvement and participation of the pupil and parents in the process; and  
  • Effective, efficient and equitable targeting of resources. 


Did you find what you were looking for?

Status message

Please note, this form is anonymous, we can't reply directly to your feedback. If you would like to report an issue, make a complaint or suggestion, please Contact Us.