What are additional support needs?

​All children and young people need support to help them learn. Through good quality learning and teaching, staff in early learning and child care settings and schools are able to meet a diverse range of needs without additional support. Some children and young people will require support that is additional to, or different from, that received by children or young people of the same age to ensure they benefit from education, whether early learning, school or preparation for life after school. There are many reasons why children and young people may need support to help them learn. Additional support needs can be both long- and short-term, or can simply refer to the help a child or young person needs in getting through a difficult period. Additional support needs can be due to:

 

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 informs practitioners and organisations of their duties, and parents of their rights, in respect of the provision of support for children and young people.

How can I help?

You will have the opportunity to be involved fully in discussions and decisions about your child's learning. You want what is best for your child and have unique knowledge and experience to contribute to understanding their additional support needs. You have a key role to play in your child's education. Partnership with parents is central to ensuring that children and young people with additional support needs benefit fully from learning.

Where can I find further advice?

Your child's school will be able to provide you with a great deal of information about your child's additional support need. Your local authority will have a policy explaining how they identify, plan for and provide support to children who need additional help with their learning.

Information on the ways schools can plan your child’s learning and how you and your child can be involved in this planning is available on Enquire’s website.

You can get advice and information from Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning. Contact Enquire's telephone helpline on 0345 123 2303 or visit the Enquire website.

Or find information on Parentzone Scotland on your child's specific support needs.