Your views on Additional Support for Learning (ASL) in Scotland

Closed 31 Dec 2023

Opened 25 Oct 2023

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Education, Children and Young People Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into Additional Support for Learning (ASL).

The Committee want to know people’s experiences of how services are provided. They want to hear views from a range of people including parents, teachers, support staff, carers, pupils and organisations.

Find out more about the inquiry.

Questions in this call for views

Implementation of the presumption of mainstreaming

  • The presumption in favour of ‘mainstream education’ strengthened the rights of pupils to be included alongside their peers, with the four key features of inclusion identified as: present, participating, achieving, and supported.
    • To what degree do you feel the presumption of mainstreaming successfully delivers on inclusive education for those pupils requiring additional support? 

    • What impact, if any, does the presumption of mainstreaming have on the education of pupils who do not require additional support?”

For children with additional support needs, in your experience:

  • Can you provide details of how these additional support needs were recognised and identified initially? Was there any delay in the process which followed the identification of additional support needs and formal recognition which leads to the accessing of the additional support? If so, what was the delay?
  • Where the child is being educated in specialist settings can you give examples of where their needs are being met, and examples of where they  are not being met?
  • What specialist support does the child receive and what support do you get in accessing this support? Are there any gaps in the specialist support provided either because the prescribed support is not available or extra support not formally prescribed is not being provided?
  • On balance, do you view the presumption of mainstreaming as having been a positive or negative development for your child or in general, and on balance, do you view the presumption of mainstreaming as having been a positive or negative development for other children in Scottish schools? 

Impact of COVID-19 on additional support for learning 

  • In what ways has the pandemic impacted on the needs of pupils with additional support needs and the meeting of those needs, both positively and negatively? 
  • How successfully have local authorities and schools adjusted to meet these needs? 

The use of remedies as set out in the Act

  • How are parents/carers and young people included in the decisions that affect the additional support for learning provided to young people and could this be better?
  • Are you aware that there are statutory remedies around the provision of additional support for learning as set out in the 2004 Act, specifically:
    • Right to have a ‘supporter’ present in discussions or an ‘advocacy worker’ make representations to the local authority, the local authority does not have to pay for this. (s.14)
    • Right to an advocacy services, free of charge, for those taking cases to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal (s.14A)
    • Independent mediation, free of charge (s.15)
    • Independent adjudication, free of charge (regulations under s.16)
    • A Tribunal for certain issues involving Co-ordinated Support Plans, placing requests and disability discrimination cases under the Equality Act 2010. 
  • If you have experience of any of these processes, do you have any comments on your experiences?
  • Any other comments? 

How to submit your views

Please submit your views using the online submission form, linked to below. Please note that you do not need to answer every question.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots, BSL or any other language.

Please note that you do not need to answer every question.

You can also let the Committee know your views on the inquiry by:

The call for views closes on 31 December 2023.


  • ECYP