The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland are established by Section 17 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 The Tribunals came into being on 21 November 2005. Schedule 1 makes provision about the constitution and procedures of the Tribunals, the creation of the office of President, and other matters. It provides that each Tribunal should consist of a convener and two members.
Any parent or young person, or where the young person lacks capacity, the parent, may refer to the tribunal specified decisions, failures or information of an education authority in relation to the child or young person's co-ordinated support plan. These include decisions in relation to the information contained in the co-ordinated support plan and failures or refusals to review the co-ordinated support plan.
References to the tribunal may also be made regarding the refusal of a placing request:
- where a co-ordinated support plan exists;
- where the need for a co-ordinated support plan is established but the co-ordinated support plan is not yet prepared;
- and where a co-ordinated support plan has been refused and that decision has been referred to the tribunal.
Section 19 of the 2004 Act sets out the powers of the tribunal in relation to references made to it.
The procedures of the Tribunals are governed by a set of Rules, The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2006 and these are supported by Guidance issued by the President to parties who may access the Tribunal and also by Presidential Directions to the Tribunals in order to achieve some consistency of approach.
The Tribunal may require an education authority to take action on a timeframe set by the Tribunal. In exercising its powers, the Tribunal must take account of the Code of Practice (section 19 (7)). When considering the facts of a case, the Tribunal will take account of the extent to which the education authorities (and other bodies) have had regard to the Code of Practice in matters relating to the case. When determining references made to it, the Tribunal will be informed by the Code of Practice.
Section 21 of the 2004 Act provides that both parties may appeal to the Court of Session against a Tribunal decision, but only on a point of law.
There is also a number of secondary legislation provisions dealing with specific aspects which can be accessed through the following links but the Secretariat will be pleased to assist and may provide copies if you require these.
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009. received Royal Assent on 25 June 2009 and came into force on 14 November 2010.
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 & 2009: Consultation on Changes to the Secondary Legislation and Supporting Children's Learning Code of Practice