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Additional support for learning

Some children need extra support to help them overcome barriers to learning. Under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, local authorities must provide additional support for children who without such support would be unable to benefit from school education.

It’s our job to:

  • identify additional support needs
  • provide the additional support required
  • monitor the needs and support we provide
  • respond to requests for assessment from parents

For more information see

Your head teacher can offer advice and you can also contact the Educational Psychology Service.

Does my child need additional support?

Children who experience any of the following may need additional support at school:

  • motor or sensory impairments
  • bullying
  • being particularly able or talented
  • bereavement
  • interruption to their learning
  • learning disability
  • learning difficulty, such as dyslexia
  • being looked after by a local authority
  • living with parents who are abusing substances
  • living with parents who have mental health problems
  • English as an additional language
  • not attending school regularly
  • emotional or social difficulties
  • they are on the child protection register
  • they are a young carer

Assessment of needs

If a school has concerns about your child's progress they'll talk with you first.

An Additional Support Needs Assessment will gather information about your child's strengths and any difficulties they face in their school education.

Request an assessment

Parents, or carers, can request an assessment through their child's school.

Our Assessment of Additional Support Needs booklet (PDF, 362kb) explains the process. Paper copies are available from; schools, early years centres and local libraries.

The head teacher consults with parents/carers to decide what to assess and which professionals need to be involved. In many instances the Educational Psychology Service will be consulted as they have a particular expertise and a statutory role to help parents/carers and school staff in the assessment of additional support needs. An independent, or medical, assessment can be included as part of the overall evidence gathering.

The head teacher decides how to best meet your child's additional support needs.

Co-ordinated support plans

If your child requires significant ongoing support from a non-education service, a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP) will be drawn up. More information is available in the Scottish Government's 'Supporting Children's Learning Code of Practice'.

For independent advice contact Enquire.

Placement in mainstream schools

There is a statutory duty on all local authorities to meet additional support needs in local mainstream schools, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Our staff will do all they can to make sure your child can attend their local school alongside their peers. It is only if the local school cannot meet your child's educational needs that other types of educational placement will be considered.

Schools use what is known as the 'Staged Intervention' model to meet your child's additional support needs in their mainstream school.