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Getting additional support: Scotland

Photo: A child or young person has ASN if they need extra support in order to benefit from education

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 sets out how children and young people with additional support needs should be supported in their education in Scotland.

The Act applies to all children and young people in public education from the date they begin free nursery education (age three or four) until their 18th birthday. In Scotland, a child is a person aged under 16 years; a young person is aged between 16 and 18 years.

What are additional support needs?

A child or young person in Scotland is said to have additional support needs if they need extra support in order to benefit from education. The need for extra support can be temporary or ongoing.

Examples of the factors that could lead to a need for additional support include:

  • having a sensory impairment (e.g. deafness)
  • having a specific language impairment
  • having other learning difficulties
  • being bullied
  • children with behavioural difficulties.

Children with additional support needs might need help in a range of areas.

  • Approaches to learning – reading, spelling, writing, concentration skills, maths, learning style.
  • Communication – receiving and understanding information, expressing themselves, non-verbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, eye contact), signing skills, ability to use the language commonly used in a school.
  • Social and emotional – social and play skills, independence, relationships with adults and children, behaviour.
  • Physical, sensory and medical – gross motor skills (use of large muscles in activities such as running and swimming) and fine motor skills (use of small muscles in activities such as writing and doing up buttons), deafness, vision, health or medical conditions.
  • Other – any other needs your child might have.

Examples of additional support needs include:

  • to develop greater self-confidence and self-esteem
  • to extend vocabulary in British Sign Language
  • to improve the quality of speech
  • to improve use and understanding of English
  • to improve gross and fine motor skills
  • to improve concentration and organisation
  • to develop social skills
  • to improve expressive language (putting thoughts into words and sentences that make sense and use grammar correctly)
  • to improve receptive language (understanding language that is heard or read).