The Mainstream Journey - pupil and professional perspective (VI)
Presented December 2005
Overview - Education (Disability Strategies and pupils' educational records) (Scotland) Act 2002
- Increasing the extent to which pupils can participate in the curriculum.
- Improving the physical environment of the school to make it more accessible.
- Improving communication with pupils of school information and, in particular, providing information in alternative forms.
Access to the Curriculum
- Pupils should as far as possible have access to a full and broad curriculum.
- At the same time, many of these pupils may need additional support and/or different approaches to teaching to enable them to learn and to benefit from the curriculum.
- This could include establishing a policy for the provision of auxiliary aids such as specialist equipment.
- Make curriculum resources, that are currently paper-based, such as textbooks or worksheets, available in common electronic forms to assist pupils with visual impairments and/or learning difficulties.
- Responsible bodies must look at wider aspects of the curriculum and pupils’ social development.
Access to the Physical Environment
- The physical environment includes the accessibility of school buildings and also entrances to the school and outdoor facilities such as playing fields.
- Access outside as well as within school; for example, through a policy and negotiated contract to ensure that buses for all school trips are accessible.
- The Authority should also think about whether changes are needed to their policy on transport for pupils, to and from school.
- Signage, route finding systems to enable pupils to find their way round a school easily.
Two Key Duties:
- not to treat disabled pupils less favourably;
- to take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage (reasonable adjustments duty).
Reasonable adjustments duty under the DDA excludes the provision of auxiliary aids and services and physical alterations to the environment.
Auxiliary aids and services will be covered by the Disability Strategies because they are important in improving access to the curriculum.
The Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Educational Records) Act will form part of the Additional Support Needs framework.
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 provides the basis of the ASN Framework) for educational provision for such pupils. The following documents are also relevant to the ASN Framework.
The Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000 and Circular 4/96 - Children and Young Persons with SEN: Assessment and Recording and A Manual of Good Practice.
Additional Support for Learning Act 2004
The Additional Support for Learning Act came into effect on 14 November 2005. This should support all children with additional support needs in a more integrated way.
References in law to “special educational needs” will cease and be replaced by additional support needs.
The legislation will have an impact wider than education and has significant implications for professionals working in any health board, social work services, Careers Scotland further education colleges and a range of other agencies.
Education authorities will have a duty to establish procedures to identify and meet the needs.
New Framework of Support
Children with enduring, complex or multiple barriers to learning and require a range of support from different services outwith education will have a Co-ordinated Support Plan drawn up.
A CSP will be a statutory document that plans long term and strategically for a child’s learning outcomes.
Every education authority will have a duty to provide independent mediation services, free of charge.
Education authorities will also have to provide a dispute resolution service for parents whose child does not have a CSP but who does have ASN.
New Tribunals will hear formal appeals on CSPs.
Preparing for post-school support
The education authority must plan for post-school transition at least 12 months before a young person with additional support needs leaves school.
The authority must provide information to the agencies who will support the young people at least 6 months before they leave school.
New Rights for Parents
- Right to ask the authority to find out whether their child has ASNs;
- Whether they need a CSP or need an existing CSP reviewed;
- Parents views will be taken into account and noted in CSPs;
- Young people aged 16 and 17 who are still at school will have all the same rights as parents.
Code of Practice
- C of P will provide guidance for local authorities and other agencies;
- It will promote better joint-planning and partnership working among agencies;
- Guides to the Code are available for parents children and young people.