Review of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004

Date: 10th July 2020
Category: Disabled children


In September 2019, the Deputy First Minister commissioned a review into implementation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 following concerns raised by families and schools about the effectiveness and availability of support for children and young people under the Act.

The 2004 Act places duties on local authorities to identify, meet and review the needs of children and young people. It gives children and young people, parents and carers the following rights:

  • to ask for additional support needs to be identified and planned for;
  • to receive advice and information about their or their child’s additional support needs;
  • to be part of discussions about the support that they or their child will receive; and
  • to access dispute resolution procedures to resolve concerns.

The remit of the commissioned review was to consider the following:

1. How additional support for learning (ASL) works in practice, across early learning and childcare centres, primary, secondary and special schools (including enhanced provision, services and units).

2. Where children and young people learn within the balance of the provision set out above, recognising that not all local authority areas have all of those provisions.

3. The quality of learning and support, including overall achievement and positive destinations achieved post-school.

4. The different approaches to planning and assessment to meet the needs of children and young people.

5. The roles and responsibilities of support staff, teaching staff, leadership role, education authorities and national agencies.

6. The areas of practice that could be further enhanced through better use of current resources to support practice, staffing or other aspects of provision.

The conclusion of this review and the recommendations made to Scottish Ministers and COSLA were published in February 2020.

  • Read the review and the recommendations here