The Scottish Government and COSLA have issued their action plan in response to the ASL Review today. You can read the action plan here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/additional-support-learning-action-plan/.
As you know, I am in the process of working my way through the review itself in detail, and will return to a detailed coverage of the action plan once that is complete.
However, in the meantime, a quick summary.
Almost all of the recommendations in the review are accepted, with one set of recommendations being partially accepted. True to form, there is much set out here which is already in place or underway. The first review of progress against the recommendations is due by October 2021.
As I say, I will return to a more detailed consideration of the action plan in due course. However, based on my first read-through the highlights are as follows:
- The Young Ambassadors for Inclusion (YAI) and the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group (ASLIG) will jointly prepare a national Vision Statement for success for children and young people with additional support needs.
- A positive communication plan will seek to highlight the successes and achievements of children and young people with additional support needs, both locally and nationally.
- A measurement framework will be developed, aligned to the National Improvement Framework, for successful outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs.
- The Code of Practice will be refreshed.
- The impact of Pupil Support Assistants (PSAs) will be measured.
- Opportunities will be developed to share the expertise of those working with children and young people with complex additional support needs with the wider education system.
- Audit Scotland will carry out a national performance audit on outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs.
- The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) will ensure that their revised professional standards have an enhanced focus on additional support for learning. Linked to this, an Autism Guidance booklet will be published by the National Autistic Society Scotland.
- The GTCS and the Council of Deans will decide on whether a specific additional support for learning qualification within initial teacher education is required.
- Schools and education authorities may use the new post of lead teacher to allow specialisation in additional support for learning.
- The Classroom Support Staff Working Group will develop clear specifications for how the teacher and PSA roles interact with and complement each other.
- Scottish Government will publish a revised, cross-portfolio summary of “the national offer on family support”.
- New GIRFEC practice guidance will be issued for local authorities and schools on multi-agency working.
- Scottish Government will work with ARC Scotland on the development and trial of Principles [of Good Transitions] into Practice.
- Scottish Government will highlight and promote the benefits of “a mediation approach”.
- The remit and membership of the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools (SAGRABIS) will be broadened, and opportunities to work more closely with ASLIG explored.
- Scottish Government will consider the impact of the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law on Additional Support for Learning – including on the assessment of capacity.
- The forthcoming review on Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs) will consider the findings of this review.
- Scottish Government will revise guidance to include a single planning process, aligning statutory and non-statutory plans, with a focus of planning for transitions.
- ASLIG will review the progress against the recommendations on an ongoing basis and report (for the first time) by October 2021.