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New report reveals what really matters to pupils accessing additional support for learning

A new report from Children in Scotland has identified key messages from young people with additional support needs on how best to support their education journey.

The work is part of a larger project, managed by Education Scotland, to contribute to the development of a new professional framework for pupil support staff.

The Pupil Support Staff Engagement Project report, which follows engagement with 150 young people aged 4-19 years old across 27 local authority areas, highlights the importance of support staff and how they help young people feel safe and happy in school.

The young people involved in the participation work, led by Children in Scotland, highlighted their desire for:

  • meaningful relationships and connection with staff
  • support staff to use a nurturing approach, demonstrating kindness, patience, empathy and treating the young people with respect.
  • support staff to have up-to-date training in additional support for learning and have a good understanding of the breadth of issues people may experience
  • a recognition of individual needs and that a one-size fits all approach does not work
  • flexibility to adapt to different situations, including new ways of learning and alternative methods of support
  • consistent support
  • transparency around information sharing and decision-making.

Chris Ross, Children in Scotland's Senior Policy, Projects and Participation Officer,  said: 

Our work on the Pupil Support Staff engagement project has reaffirmed much of what we already know about additional support for learning. Children and young people consistently tell us they want staff to focus on their wellbeing and to get to know them as individuals and that doing so supports them to learn. This continues to be reflected within the findings of this project so far.

“Putting children’s voices at the centre is key to any development relating to service provision for children and young people.

"We look forward to seeing the development of the professional framework and believe the learning from this stage of the project can play a key part in ensuring we are meeting the needs of young people with additional support needs, and embedding a rights-based approach to education in Scotland.”

Following on from Children in Scotland’s engagement work, Education Scotland will now be leading a period of engagement with practitioners across Scotland.

Click here to read the Pupil Support Staff Engagement Project report


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