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ASL progress report reveals too many children still missing out

30 November 2022

Children in Scotland has responded to the latest ASL Implementation Plan progress report, published by the Scottish Government. 

The second ASL Implementation Plan progress report from government identifies work undertaken since November 2021 and actions to be delivered over the course of the current Parliament in response to the recommendations made during the current review of implementation of additional support for learning, started in January 2019.

Published today (30 November) it identifies that across the 76 original recommendations, 24 have been fully met whilst progress continues to meet and deliver on the 52 outstanding.

Review of progress

Some key progress points highlighted include:

  • Continued work of the Inclusion Ambassadors to raise awareness of the experiences of pupils with ASN, provide resources to support better inclusion practices and celebrate best practice through the new Success Looks Different Awards
  • Ongoing funding for vital national services including Enquire, Let's Talk ASN and My Rights, My Say
  • Representation of parents and carers on all Scottish Government groups about additional support for learning as well as additional funding for groups who support and enable continued engagement
  • Creation of a new Pupil Support Staff Professional Framework
  • Revised teaching standards with specific mention of additional support needs and neurodiversity
  • Additional support for learning now forms part of the Association of Directors of Education Scotland leadership programme.

Too many children still missing out

While Children in Scotland welcomes progress so far and a commitment to deliver on the remaining recommendations, we worry that progress continues to be slow. This means too many children and young people are still failing to receive the support they are legally entitled to.

We would also like to see more analysis of the impact of current measures and how these are making a tangible difference to the educational experiences of children, young people and their families.

Billy Anderson, Children in Scotland’s Head of Services responded to today’s report, saying:

“The delivering of a number of recommendations made originally in Angela Morgan’s 2019 Review of ASL Implementation is very welcome. We thank the Scottish Government for continuing to focus their efforts to deliver change and improvements for all young people who require additional support for learning.

“We are pleased to be able to play a part in delivering on these through our continued support of the Inclusion Ambassadors group and delivery of the Enquire, Resolve and My Rights, My Say national services.

“However, the pace of progress is slow and there are some gaps in the reporting that need to be filled in order to provide a fuller picture of the impact for children and families so far.

“We also note there is a lack of reference to children who are on part-time timetables, those who have been excluded from school, as well as children and young people with additional support needs who are disproportionately affected by the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and are faced with the current cost-of-living crisis."

“We welcome the progress and will continue to support the Scottish Government to deliver on their commitments but are calling for a sharpening of focus and an increased pace of progress so that those who are currently in education see a direct improvement to their educational experiences as well as laying the foundations of positive, sustainable change for the future.”

Children in Scotland is also calling for more evaluation of the actions taken so far, as well as reference to how they have directly impacted on the specific issues raised in the original report, including more input from parents, young people and teachers about the real-terms difference to their lives.

The Additional support for learning review action plan: second progress report is now available on the Scottish Government website.  Click here to read the full report.

Enquire has also produced an easy-read version suitable for children, young people and their families.  Click here to access this version of the report.

ASL Implementation progress report

Read the Scottish government's second progress report

Click here to view

ASL Progress report: easy read version

Read the easy read version of the progress report from Enquire

Click here to view

Policy briefing: Education and learning

Outlining evidence supporting our calls for change

Click here to read


More about the national advice service for additional support for learning

Click here to visit their website

Inclusion Ambassadors

Find out more about the work and resources from the Inclusion Ambassadors

Click here to visit their website

My Rights, My Say

Supporting 12-15 year olds with ASN to be more involved in decisions about their lives

Click here to visit their website

Resolve ASN Mediation services

Creating solutions for educational disagreements

Click here to visit their website
A little girl with glasses stands with an open book. Behind her are shelves full of books and there are some out of focus in the foreground.

News: Dyslexia genes identified by Scottish-led study

Posted 25 October, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

Scientists have for the first time pinpointed a number of genes that are reliably associated with dyslexia.

The researchers say their findings will aid understanding of the biology behind why some children struggle to read or spell.

Family genes

First recognised in the 1870s, a definition was not reached until the 1960s. Now, dyslexia is typically given as a diagnosis if reading and spelling abilities are poor and much lower than a person’s other academic skills or cognitive abilities.

According to Dyslexia Scotland one in 10 children and adults has dyslexia in Scotland.

Dyslexia is known to run in families but, until now, little was known about the specific gene that increase the risk of developing it.

Research findings

The most recent study, led by the University of Edinburgh, is the largest genetic study of dyslexia to date.

Researched tested the association between millions of genetic variants with dyslexia status and found 42 significant variants.

Some of these are associated with other neurodevelopment conditions, such as language delay, and with thinking skills. Many, however, are novel and could represent genes that more specifically associate with processes essential for learning to read.

Many of the genes associated with dyslexia are also associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A much smaller overlap of genes associated with dyslexia was found for psychiatric, lifestyle and health conditions.

Researchers say they were able to predict how well children and adults from four other research studies can read and spell sing the genetic information from the study. However, these would not be accurate enough for diagnostic use.

Lead researcher Dr Michelle Luciano from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences said:

“Previous work suggested some brain structures may be altered in people with dyslexia, but we did not find evidence that genes explain this. Our results also suggest that dyslexia is very closely genetically related to performance on reading and spelling tests, reinforcing the importance of standardised testing in identifying dyslexia.”

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, was done in partnership with Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Netherlands), QMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Australia) and US company, 23 and Me Inc.

New project to better understand what pupil support in Scotland should look like

Children in Scotland is working with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government to build knowledge and influence practice development around support for young people with additional support needs in an education setting.

Children in Scotland will spend the next six weeks consulting and engaging with young people with additional support needs to identify what best practice might look like and, crucially, what steps can be taken to practically improve support.

The work is intended to help develop understanding of what is important to children and young people with additional support needs and how best to support them on their educational journey.

It forms part of a wider consultation on behalf of the Scottish Government relating to pupil support and ongoing activity in response to Angela Morgan’s Review of ASL Implementation.

Chris Ross, Senior Policy, Projects and Participation Officer said: 

"We know there is some really great work going on around the country in terms of supporting pupils with additional support needs. But we also know this isn't the experience of everyone.

"This work will play a big part in shaping the considerations for pupil support moving forward by listening to those who have the most experience to share - pupils themselves.

"We are excited to get started on this work, working both with our own Inclusion Ambassadors as well as a host of other organisations, schools and young people across the country."

Engagement activity will begin shortly and take place across the country with young people aged 5-18 who have an additional support need and have regular engagement with pupil support staff to support their learning.

Stage two of the project, delivered by Education Scotland, will build on the findings and feedback gathered to engage with education and support staff directly and is expected to begin in the autumn.

If you are interested in participating, or would like to find out more, contact Chris Ross by email:


Get involved

Download the engagement pack to contribute to the project

Click here to download

Inclusion Ambassadors

Find out more about the work of the Inclusion Ambassadors

Click here to visit the project

Manifesto for 2021-26

Ambitious calls for change in the current parliamentary term

Click here to find out more
A highlighter pen making check marks against a to-do list

News: Councils urged to keep Additional Support Needs on the agenda

Posted 10 May 2022, by Jennifer Drummond

Following the Scottish local council elections last week, the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC) has urged for a renewed focus on supporting pupils with additional support needs (ASN), highlighting ongoing budget cuts and record lows of teacher numbers.

According to government statistics, just under a third of pupils across Scotland have additional support needs, including autism, dyslexia and mental health problems.

Postcode lottery funding

The Coalition analysed figures for spending on ASN pupils since 2012/13, revealing average spend per pupil fell from £4276 in the 2012/13 financial year to £3402 in 2020/21. This represents a cut of more than 20%.

The charity, which is an alliance of providers of specialist care and education to vulnerable children and young people, also pointed to disparities across council areas. Funding was just £2210 per pupil in the Scottish Borders but as high as £5901 per pupil in Shetland.

Lower than ever teacher numbers

The SCSN has also raised concerns over the continued decline in specialist teachers. From 2012-2020 full-time equivalent ASN teachers in Scotland fell from 3389, to an all-time low of 2860. This represents a cut of 15.6%.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition said:

“It is vital that those with ASN get the care and support they need, when they need it, especially as we come out of the current Covid-19 crisis.

“It is disappointing to note cuts in spending supporting those with ASN and we would urge Scotland’s newly elected councils to put the needs of vulnerable children and young people at the very heart of policy funding an commitments.

“Councils and Scottish Government must work together to provide the necessary resourcing to address the needs of those children and young people with ASN who represent some of the most vulnerable individuals in society.”

Government funding and support

The Scottish Government has defended teacher numbers, acknowledging that, while dedicated ASN specialist teacher numbers had fallen, overall teacher numbers had risen.

Figures published in December 2021 showing an increase in teacher numbers for the sixth year in a row, resulting in the lowest pupil to teacher ration since 2009.

They also highlighted additional funding available to councils to help respond to needs of young people in the area.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “All teachers provide support to pupils with additional support needs, not just ‘support for learning’ staff.

“The Scottish Government is investing £145.5 million to support education staffing in 2022-23, representing the biggest increase to support teacher recruitment since 2007.

“We also provide councils with an additional £15 million each year to help them respond to the individual needs of children and young people. This has allowed the recruitment of 1,036 extra pupil support assistants in 2021.”

Government ‘must be brave’ in leading education reforms, with focus on rights, early years and meeting all learners’ needs

10 March 2022

Children in Scotland has welcomed the emphasis on children’s rights, the early years and meeting all learners’ needs in Professor Ken Muir’s education reform report, published yesterday.

But the charity also warned that implementation success depends on the Scottish Government being bold and taking forward the recommendations at appropriate speed.

Click here to read Professor Muir’s report

Amy Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, said:

“The Scottish Government could make a significant difference to the education of young people in Scotland if they lead on these recommendations with confidence and bravery.

“We welcome many of the guiding principles and proposals set out in Professor Muir’s report, including:

  • The focus on a child rights approach, with Article 29 of the UNCRC explicitly referred to
  • Increased recognition of the role and value of the early years
  • A review of the roles and purposes of assessment, so that it is not leading learning
  • Learners’ voices, experiences, perspectives and rights being central to decision-making
  • Trusting relationships between children, young people and teachers
  • Greater resourcing and attention placed on ensuring that the needs of individual leaners are met, as set out in Angela Morgan’s review of additional support for learning.

“Some of these core principles closely align with our own project work and evidence.

"The emphasis on trusting relationships, for example, links to our diversity in teaching project with the GTCS and Intercultural Youth Scotland, while focus on individual learners echoes calls made by the Inclusion Ambassadors network.

Click here to find out more about our diversity in teaching project

Click here to find out more about the Inclusion Ambassadors

“We are also encouraged by the Scottish Government’s responses to some of the key report recommendations, including:

  • Their commitment to ensuring that all children, young people and learners are placed at the heart of discussions about the renewed vision (recommendations 1 and 2) and that children’s rights as described by the UNCRC are embedded throughout our education system
  • Their promise that assessments, including examinations, should follow from the purposes of the curriculum, and not be seen to lead them (in response to recommendations 3, 4, 5 on the new qualifications authority with a revised governance structure to include more representation from and accountability to all learners)
  • Their acceptance of the absolute centrality of co-designing education policy, responding to recommendations 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 covering the setting up of a new national agency with a participative approach to governance in all of its work
  • Their pledge to introduce specific proposals to consult with the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) sector before the summer, in response to recommendations 13, 14, 15, and 16 calling for the new independent Inspectorate to re-engage with the Care Inspectorate to agree a shared inspection framework designed to reduce the burden on ELC
  • Their commitment to act on points 17, 18 and 19, which urge the Scottish Government and other national bodies to collaborate more effectively to ensure that policies align well with each other and with any revised vision for Scottish education, leading, we hope, to better joined-up work across directorates.

“These are welcome public promises and strong foundations for progress but to make a difference for children and young people the Scottish Government must:

  • Be brave and confident, using these principles as an opportunity to lead genuine change to our education system
  • Take forward the recommendations with appropriate speed and depth, ensuring that change is experienced by learners and is not cosmetic
  • Follow the call in our 2021-26 Manifesto that wellbeing should be the central focus of Scottish education and at the heart of changes in vision, values and systems
  • Deliver on calls made by the Inclusion Ambassadors in Angela Morgan’s review of additional support for learning about making meeting all learners' needs a real priority
  • Deliver on the promise of embedding a child rights approach at all levels – in the classroom, in governance, across the wider life of school, and at local authority and national levels.”

Click here to find out more about our 2021-26 Manifesto

Putting Learners at the Centre

Replacement of the SQA and reform of Education Scotland is addressed in Professor Muir's report, published 9/3/22

Click here to read more

2021-26 Manifesto

Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Click here for more

Inclusion Ambassadors

We support a network of young people with additional support for learning needs, ensuring that their views are shared

Click here for more

Diversity in teaching

A current project, in partnership with GTCS and Intercultural Youth Scotland

Click here for more

News, March 2022: Failure to launch

The SQA's exams guidance has been widely criticised

Click here to read

New project will hear from young people with additional needs about what works for them in transition to adulthood

25 February 2022

Children in Scotland is partnering with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and Contact, the charity supporting families with disabled children, on a new inclusion project.

Time to Talk Next Steps Scotland will launch soon and explore what works to support young people with additional needs as they transition into adulthood.

The project, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, will be co-produced with young people, alongside parents and carers.

Amy Woodhouse, Children in Scotland’s Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, said:

“We are delighted to be partners in the Time to Talk Next Steps Scotland project alongside NDTi and Connect.

“We know how important the period of transition to adulthood is for all young people and, for those with additional support needs in particular, how vital it is that person-centred support for transitions is available.

“We're really excited to learn from NDTi's expertise in this area, and help bring this programme to Scotland, working with young people with additional support needs to make sure it is designed and delivered in a way that fits their needs and priorities.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said:

“National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country.

"This project, delivered by NDTi in partnership with Children in Scotland and Connect, is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others.

“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work and to help communities thrive.”

More details will be announced soon.

Click here for more information about NDTI

Click here for more information about Contact

Click here for more information about the National Lottery Community Fund

To find out more about the project, email Amy Woodhouse:

Change that leads to better lives

National Development Team for Inclusion works to enable people at risk of exclusion to live the life they choose

Click here for more

For families with disabled children

Contact supports families, brings them together and helps them take action for others

Click here for more

The National Lottery Community Fund

The fund distributes more than £600m a year to communities across the UK

Click here for more

Inclusion Ambassadors

We manage a group of young people with additional needs who share their views and advocate for change

Click here for more

Progress on additional support for learning "must accelerate in wake of the pandemic"

19 November 2021

The pace of progress on improving additional support for learning provision must increase as the country continues to respond to and rebuild from the pandemic, the Scottish Parliament has been told.  

Appearing in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People Committee earlier this week, Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland’s Head of Inclusion, called for:

  • Prioritisation of actions to deliver the recommendations in the Additional Support for Learning Review, conducted by Angela Morgan, and
  • A focus on supporting children and families in the early years.

She also said there was a need to work together in partnership across education, youth work, childcare and the wider children’s sector to deliver sustainable support and long-term change.

She highlighted the need to ensure equity of funding for additional support for learning in terms of Covid recovery, especially in relation to the Educational Recovery Fund (click here to learn more).

Following the evidence session, Sally said:

“We know that the educational experiences of children and young people with additional support needs have been particularly impacted by the global pandemic. That’s why it is imperative that the progress made against the ASL action plan is accelerated.

“The last 18 months have emphasised the importance of partnerships and support. The communities of services and support that exist around schools need to work together and all be part of the recovery plan in order to ensure long-term systematic change that is sustainable far beyond the initial Covid recovery plan.

"This also needs to be reflected in the investment to help with recovery. It will be critical that there is equity of funding for children with additional support needs, including in the distribution of the Education Recovery Fund.

“We also mustn’t forget about the challenges facing families with pre-school children with additional support needs. This has so far been missing from the discussion.

"We need to improve the support pathways and transitions for these families by facilitating good, solid and genuine relationships with key professionals involved in their care and support.

"This will be imperative for families at this crucial stage who were greatly affected by losing out on support and services during the pandemic.

“Finally, we are consistently told about the difference meaningful participation and being involved in decision-making makes. This core principle of children and young people’s participation needs to underpin all ASL improvement work going forward."

Sally also highlighted the ongoing work to develop a National Measurement Framework to provide evidence of the impact of additional support interventions.

In order to understand the level of investment required, development of the Framework and its swift implementation will be key, she said.

Sally appeared in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People Committee on Wednesday 17 November. Click here to view the full recorded session.

Evidence of impact

Children in Scotland submitted written evidence to the committee in November

Click to read the submission


The Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Click to visit the website

My Right, My Say

Supporting young people to understand and exercise their rights in relation to education

Click to find out more

Challenging inequality and leading change

The first report from the Inclusion Ambassadors

Click to find out more

Holding on to the human side of being 'present' with people

Mediation manager for Resolve: ASL, Sandra Mitchell, explains how the service adapted during the pandemic and managed to keep hold of its core component of being present with people experiencing conflict.

In early 2020, COVID-19’s very speedy spread suddenly shut down Resolve: ASL along with the rest of the world, leaving us all dazed and quite unaware of what was to happen next.

In response, we quickly realised we would need to move our service online to be able to continue to offer our service. This was a big challenge in many ways, particularly for me. As a mediator of 25 years, I was always resistant to online or telephone mediation. I was passionate that the core component was the human aspect of being present with people who were in conflict and experiencing a wide range of emotions and behaviours.

However, any resistance to change – another very human response – was out of our control and we scrambled to set up procedures and processes so our service users could continue to resolve their disagreements, which had not gone away, and now had extra layers of pressures added due to the way we were having to live and communicate.

As the weeks went by and we all started to learn how to live in lockdown, we started to embrace and adapt to our new online delivery of mediation and to our delight and surprise it was not too painful – even I was becoming a willing and enthusiastic convert!

Our mediators started to tell us that online mediation was an acceptable substitute to face-to-face mediation. This shift introduced mediators to understand various benefits while acknowledging there are areas that are not the same. The human aspect of not being in the room with the people includes the disconnect between sight and sound. Working online to maintain eye contact or process social cues has now become the object of greater focus and attention, which as unconscious social interaction could often be taken for granted.

Most concerns raised by parents, carers and education staff were around using the technology, Teams, Zoom etc and these concerns were quickly responded to with trial runs and support given by our mediation officer.

Our users started to tell us how they found it less time consuming – not having to travel, not having to have children looked after and that being in their own surroundings, they felt more comfortable and confident to talk.

Nearly all feedback from our mediation users has told us that mostly they really valued that our service had continued to connect them with the right people and then support them to talk, listen and create solutions for their issues during extra stressful times and we ‘were still there for them’.

The pandemic and topsy turvy times we have all faced has opened doors and fostered change across the world and for our mediation service, we have certainly embraced our understanding and practice to be more creative in improving human connections thorough online mediation.

People who are in dispute – whatever it involves – carry a burden, unnecessary stress and upset which plagues them for months even years, eats up their time and puts unwanted pressures on their personal, professional life and relationships. To see the relief on their faces, and that they can finally move on with their life is priceless, especially when you know you have helped to achieve that albeit virtually or face-to-face.

I believe that the future will have room for both online and face-to-face mediation. These options must be based on experience, be true to our commitment to the integrity of the mediation process and, most importantly of all, reflect the needs of our users.

Sandra Mitchell is Mediation Manager for Resolve: ASL. Click here to learn more about the service

Resolve: ASL Mediaton Service

Creates solutions for education disagreements

Click here to find out more


Find out more about Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Click here to visit the website


Helping you understand children’s rights to be supported and involved in decisions

Click here to visit the website

My Rights, My Say

Helping children aged 12-15 with ASN to speak up about the support they need with their education.

Click here to visit the website

'Challenging inequality and leading change'

Media release: the first report charting the work and calls of the Inclusion Ambassadors is published

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First annual Inclusion Ambassadors report calls for action to help young people feel supported in school

1 September 2021


The first annual report of Scotland’s Inclusion Ambassadors has been published today, calling for more activity to ensure those with additional support needs feel supported at school.

The report, Challenging inequality and leading change, reviews the work of the Inclusion Ambassadors group from 2020-21. It highlights their activity over the last year, including input into the Review of Additional Support for Learning, as well as the creation of a Vision Statement published as part of the Scottish Government’s Action Plan agreed in response.

The group members also share their experiences of being young people with additional support needs in an education setting, the impact of Covid-19 and what they would like to see change to ensure school is a happy and safe place.

Specifically, the Ambassadors highlight the importance of being involved in decision-making, two-way communication with school and support staff and relationships built on trust.  They identify the positive difference this can make to their day-to-day experience and learner journey and the issues when one, or all, of these elements are absent.

Key recommendations made within the report include calls to:

  • Directly involve young people with additional support needs in discussions around their support. This includes asking pupils what support they would like, and how this should be delivered
  • Ensure ongoing, open communication with young people with additional support needs. This includes advising them of what decisions have been made and why, the practical implications of this, as well as ensuring feedback is provided from any meetings or discussions they have participated in
  • Increase the number of support staff with specialist knowledge and skills
  • Deliver person-centred, consistent support, including flexibility to work in a way that may suit them, even if it’s different from the rest of the class
  • Make time for pupils to socialise and engage with their friends, allowing for social and emotional development and relationship-building. 

Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland’s Head of Inclusion said:

“The Inclusion Ambassadors are a fantastic group of young people who are committed to influencing and facilitating change. By sharing their experiences they’ve provided real insight into what works, and what needs to change.

“It’s encouraging to hear the examples of inclusive practice across Scotland with the Ambassadors telling us the difference it makes when staff trust and include them, and understand their needs. However, the issues raised show the need for better, more consistent support and highlight where policy is not necessarily being translated into practice.

“We hope this report will encourage an examination of how pupils with additional support needs are being supported and ultimately lead to positive change for those currently in, or about to enter, the education system.

“We look forward to supporting the Inclusion Ambassadors with their work going forward, including ongoing communication with the Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group (ASLIG) and other key decision--makers.”

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said:

“I welcome the first annual report from the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion. We will continue to work together to take forward the measures set out in our ASL Action Plan, which aims to enhance the experiences of children and young people with additional support needs across Scotland.”

During the coming year, the Inclusion Ambassadors will be inviting a range of decision-makers to meet with them to listen to their experiences, discuss their views, and identify what changes can be made.

Challenging inequality and leading change: A report on the work of the Inclusion Ambassadors work 2020-21 was published on 1 September, 2021.

Click here to read the full report 


Media contact

For press enquiries, please email Jennifer Drummond, Communications Officer, Children in Scotland –

Report: Challenging inequality and leading change

The first annual report from the Inclusion Ambassadors group

Click to read the report

Inclusion Ambassadors

Find our more about the group of young people and their work

Click to visit the website

News: New pledge pack for schools

A new resource from the Inclusion Ambassadors designed to encourage more inclusive practices in schools has been recently published

Click to read the news story


Scotland's Advice Service for Additional Support for Learning

Click to visit the website


Helping you understand children's rights to be supported and involved in decisions affecting their education

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My Rights, My Say

Advocacy for children and young people to recognise and fight for their rights in education

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Inclusion Ambassadors share experiences of school after lockdown

11 December 2020

The impact of school closures on exams, ongoing issues around teacher support and continued concerns about the spread of Covid-19 are key issues raised by young people in a recent meeting discussing their experiences of returning to school after lockdown.

Asked about their return to education, the Inclusion Ambassadors presented a mixed picture of their success at settling back into school life.

Some spoke highly of schools trying to maintain normality, and attempts of teachers to ensure no pupil was left behind. However, many highlighted that restrictions now placed on schools and teachers were having a negative impact on interactions and pupil support, with high levels of teacher absence meaning a lack of consistent, appropriate support.

Elaine Kerridge, Children in Scotland’s Policy Manager (Participation), who manages the Inclusion Ambassadors project said:

“We wanted to get a sense of how the young people felt things were going with their return to school, especially with some still operating under a number of significant restrictions.

“Although some complimented the attempt to maintain a semblance of normality and efforts to ‘check-in’, we were disappointed to hear that many felt they were getting less support now than they were prior to March.

“We have consistently called for targeted and tailored support for children and young people who require additional support for learning. This is the call our young people are also making. It cannot become a casualty of Covid. The future of our young people cannot be compromised any further.”

The Inclusion Ambassadors reiterated their call for teachers to listen to the support they need, and to acknowledge a heavy-reliance on digital or remote learning could often be problematic for those who require additional support for learning.

The Inclusion Ambassadors are a group of secondary-school aged pupils with a variety of additional support needs. They attend a range of education provision across Scotland, most in mainstream schools.

The group of youngsters shared their experienced and voiced their concerns at a December meeting, run by Children in Scotland.

Click here to find out more about the Inclusion Ambassadors project group


Designed to help young people understand children's rights in Scottish schools.

Click to visit the website

My Rights, My Say

Supporting young people aged 12-15 to exercise their rights to be included in decision-making relating to school

Click to visit the website


Find out more about the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning

Click to visit the website

Participation and engagement

We undertake a wide range of projects to achieve our vision that all children have an equal chance to flourish.

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School closures 'monumental' for ASL

Sally Cavers writes about the impact of lockdown on children with additional support needs

Click to read the article in TES