Frequently asked questions
What are additional support needs?
Children who face barriers to learning and require additional support to make progress are said to have additional support needs. These can be short or long term, or of unknown duration. For instance, additional support may be needed for a child or young person who:
- is being bullied
- has emotional, behavioural or learning difficulties
- has a physical or mental disability
- is particularly gifted
- is bereaved
- is not a regular attendee
These are just some examples. The 2004 Act says that a child or young person has additional support needs if the child or young person is, or is likely to be, unable without the provision of additional support to benefit from school education provided or to be provided for the child or young person.
What is the code of practice?
The code of practice is a document published by the Scottish Ministers giving guidance to education authorities and other agencies on how to use the functions given to them by the 2004 and the amending 2009 Act. It provides more detail than the legislation and is designed to achieve consistency of delivery among Scotland’s 32 education authorities.
What is a co-ordinated support plan?
The co-ordinated support plan (CSP) is a document which confers statutory rights on the young person or parent and duties on the authority. It sets out the child’s needs and the additional support he or she requires to overcome barriers to learning.
What is an education authority?
The part of a local authority which is responsible for providing education, arranging assessments and co-ordinating the additional support to meet the needs of children and young people, including preparing, reviewing and maintaining the co-ordinated support plan.
What is a Tribunal?
Tribunals make binding, final decisions (subject to appeal) on parties in dispute. Tribunals tend to be more inquisitorial and less formal in approach than courts. Each Additional Support Needs Tribunal will comprise a legally qualified convener and two expert members.
What is a hearing?
The occasion at which the Tribunal hears the evidence, the arguments and decides the reference. As well as the convener and two members, the secretariat will send somebody to support the arrangements at the hearing. This person will usually be the case officer who has dealt with the reference from the beginning. The President has issued guidance to explain to Parents, Representatives and Witnesses how the hearing is normally conducted.
Who are the conveners?
Each convener is a legally qualified person who chairs the hearing. Scottish Ministers have appointed eight conveners, including the President, who can chair hearings across Scotland.
Who are the members?
Members are individuals with knowledge and experience of children or young people with additional support needs. There will be two members at each hearing who, together with the convener, question, deliberate and come to a decision about the matter in dispute. Scottish Ministers have appointed twenty two members from the fields of education and health and social work who can attend hearings all over Scotland.
What is a reference?
An appeal submitted to the Tribunal by the parent or young person in respect of a disputed decision, failure or information by the education authority responsible for the school education of the child.
How old is a young person?
A young person is someone who is 16 or 17 years old. A child is 0-15 years old.