LACK OF SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH SUPPORT NEEDS

Baillie 9
Jackie Baillie MSP

By Democrat reporter

Statistics have revealed that fewer than three per cent of children with additional support needs, who are also being supported by social work services, are having their needs met via a coordinated support plan (CPS).

Now Jackie Baillie MSP has called on West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute Councils to ensure that they buck this trend.

In 2018, there were 21,906 young people with additional support needs in Scotland, who are also being supported by social work services, but only 621 (2.8 per cent) had a coordinated support plan.

CPSs are statutory support plans and should be prepared for eligible pupils who need support due to complex factors affecting their education, have needs that are likely to last more than a year, and need significant additional support from other services such as social work.

“And since 2009, there has been an obligation on local authorities to assess whether children who are looked after should have a support plan – such children qualify as they are supported by both educational and social work services.

The figures reveal that 127 pupils with additional support needs in Argyll and Bute are also supported by social work services. And that 170 pupils with additional support needs in West Dunbartonshire are also supported by social work services.

Jackie Baillie said: “These Scotland-wide figures are incredibly worrying, and reveal that young people with additional support needs are being badly let down.

“Coordinated support plans are vital to families in ensuring their children receive the correct level and type of support. It is inconceivable that only 3% of qualifying children need a coordinated support plan.

“More than 300 children in Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire with an additional support need are also supported by social work services. The figures don’t tell us how many of them have a coordinated support plan but I hope that both local authorities are bucking the national trend.

“But what this national picture tells us is that local government needs urgent investment to ensure that councils have the capacity to deliver services that meet the educational and support needs of every child.”


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