Additional support needs

The information provided in this section is for parents/carers of all children and young people in South Ayrshire schools and nurseries. 'Parents/carers' means anyone who has responsibility for a child or young person. 'Young people' means pupils over 16 who are still at school.

It tells you about important changes in the law that will affect children's and young people's education. These changes have been made to help children and young people who need additional support in school.

What are additional support needs?

Some children and young people need extra help in school to make progress. It is the duty of the local authority to assess and then address the needs of children and young people with additional needs. This can mean different supports for different children. Additional support needs can last for only a short time or could last for much longer. For instance, additional support may be needed for a child or young person who:

  • is being bullied
  • is gifted
  • has behavioural or learning difficulties
  • is bereaved
  • is deaf or blind
  • is not attending school regularly

Other needs can be more specific. This can be within areas such as:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Deaf and Hearing Impaired
  • Visual Impairment
  • Dyslexia
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Looked After and Accommodated

How can parents/carers make requests for assessment?

Assessment means gathering and making sense of information about a child or young person and his or her particular circumstances. Its purpose is to identify the strengths and difficulties that children and young people with additional support needs have and to make sure the appropriate supports are identified to support these needs.

Assessment is an ongoing process and a great deal of information is available in schools. This means that specific, individual assessments might not be necessary. Parents or young people can ask an education authority to arrange for an assessment or examination to take place. The request can be for an educational psychological or medical assessment or examination or any other assessment or examination that is requested.

What can parents/carers do if they don’t agree with an authority decision?

There is a process involved in resolving differences which might arise between the authority and a parent. This might involve discussing things with your child’s head teacher or with an officer from the authority or it might involve voluntary mediation, which a parent/carer can ask for and can be requested at any time. It might mean the formal process of dispute resolution and appeals tribunals. This information will be available in schools and also from the education authority.

Armed Forces Families

Help us to support your children in our schools is a leaflet created for parents and carers of children and young people of Armed Forces Families. It was prepared in cooperation with the ADES Armed Forces Working Group, Head Teachers, Project Co-ordinators and partners and is designed to encourage families to identify their military service status.

Further information

The first point of contact for more information should be the school your child attends.

Further information can be found in the Additional Support Needs – Guide for Parents and Carers.