Mental Health Education
3 years ago
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 places a duty on education authorities to establish procedures for identifying and meeting the additional support needs of children and young people. The identified needs must be kept under review. Whilst additional support needs may exist in children for a variety of different reasons, many will be due to the child having been diagnosed with some form of mental illness.
This Act created the term “additional support needs” and a major focus of the legislation was to ensure that children requiring additional support could be provided with that support within a mainstream school framework. The Act places duties on education authorities to identify, meet and keep under review the needs of pupils for whom they are responsible. It gives parents a number of rights including the right to access mediation, dispute resolution and refer decisions to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for matters concerned with a co-ordinated support plan.
People who have children at school who are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, learning disability or autism will be aware of the existence of these co-ordinated support plans but are not always aware of their rights in relation to review and/or enforcement of that.
The Additional Support Needs (ASN) Tribunal hears references from parents and young people against decisions of education authorities regarding the provision of educational support. Children aged between 12 and 15 years who have capacity to make a reference can also do so in their own right in certain circumstances. The Equality Act 2010 provides the right to make a claim to the ASN tribunal in respect of disability discrimination relating to pupils in school education. The Tribunal will always wish to hear the views of the child when they are tasked with deciding on any application lodged with them.
We appreciate that for most parents and young people, dealing with schools and senior officials within the education authority can be a very daunting and sometimes intimidating prospect. Our solicitors are experienced in this field and can provide assistance and guidance in this area of additional support needs.
We can also provide advice and guidance in relation to placing requests where an individual feels that their child’s additional support needs cannot be met within the mainstream school setting and are seeking to place the child elsewhere.