Education Secretary pledges review of support plans for additional needs pupils

  • Wed,15 May 2019 06:14:54 PM

A review of support plans for pupils with additional needs has been announced.

Education Secretary John Swinney made the commitment during a Liberal Democrat-led education debate at Holyrood.

Coordinated Support Plans (CSP) are statutory plans for young people with complex additional support needs who need significant educational help as well as further assistance from other agencies.

The plans enable parents or guardians to take legal action if their child does not receive the help to which they are entitled.

The Scottish Greens said it was concerned that the number of these plans has fallen since 2010 while the number of pupils with additional support needs has risen dramatically.

Education Secretary John Swinney
Education Secretary John Swinney announced the review (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

Mr Swinney told MSPs: “The Government is prepared to undertake a review of coordinated support plans.

“We will consider how to strengthen the guidance and other support available to local authorities on coordinated support plans and will develop this work in partnership with stakeholders to ensure that in every respect we are meeting the needs of every pupil within our country.”

Ross Greer, for the Greens, said: “While the number of pupils identified with an additional need has increased to almost 200,000, the number of CSPs has dropped to just under 2,000 today — that’s 1% of young people with identified additional needs having a Coordinated Support Plan.”

He said councils are “not fully understanding what is required of them” when it comes to CSPs for children with additional support needs.

The MSP welcomed the Government’s commitment to review the use of the plans, and called for it to “immediately follow that with action to rectify the problem”.

He added: “We’re not short of testimonials from young people and parents who have gone through experiences nothing short of traumatic but for who the lack of a CSP have had little opportunity for recourse.”

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