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The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 contains some important additional points, including the fact that “A child may require additional support for a variety of reasons. These may include those who are being bullied, are particularly gifted, have experienced a bereavement, or are not attending school regularly, as well as those who have behavioural or learning difficulties, mental health problems, or specific disabilities such as deafness or blindness.”

The Bill, passed on 1 April 2004, placed duties on education authorities to provide for children with additional support needs, introduces co-ordinated support plans (CSPs) to replace the old record of needs system, and establishes a new Additional Support Needs.

A further act, Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009  came into force on 14 November 2009. The amendments relate, among other things, to:

  • the rights of parents to make out of area placing requests
  • following a successful out of area placing request parental access to mediation and dispute resolution from the host authority
  •  increased parental rights in respect of access to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (ASNTS)
  •  the provision of a new ASNTS national advocacy service.

In addition the 2009 Act:

  • automatically deems that all looked after children and young people have additional support needs unless the education authority determine that they do not require additional support in order to benefit from school education
  •  education authorities must consider whether each looked after child or young person for whose school education they are responsible requires a co-ordinated support plan (CSP).

The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland can hear all types of disability discrimination claims against schools.  The first case that went through the courts in relation to this clarified to position a little further.  The result is published here.