In May 1998, the then Scottish Executive issued "Special Educational Needs in Scotland: A Discussion Paper". It highlighted the Government's commitment to a more inclusive society, in the context of a national policy framework which aimed to develop a range of approaches and opportunities to meet the needs of children with special educational needs.
The Paper recognised that the complex special educational needs of a small number of children, often with associated social or medical needs, required particularly careful consideration and announced the establishment of an Advisory Committee to examine how the needs of these children were being met. That Committee published its report in 1999, which made a number of recommendations.
Why this review?
There have been a number of policy and legislative developments since then, for example, the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence and the commencement of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended).
In light of these, and considering the time since these issues were previously examined, advances in medical interventions and improvements to local and national provision, the Scottish Government believes this is the right moment to consider whether the current system is achieving the best possible outcomes for Scotland's children and young people.
Central to the review are the following principles:
- That at all times, positive outcomes for children and young people with complex additional support needs will drive policy
- Curriculum for Excellence entitles every child to a broad general education which develops their talents and personality reflecting the ways different learners progress
- This entitlement extends to the provision of the health/care and support necessary to allow them to access educational opportunities
- That all activity will be in line with the principles of Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), and will seek to ensure that children and young people are safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included
- That to be consistent with the principles for the commissioning of national services for children established by the National Residential Child Care Initiative (NRCCI), the review will explicitly ensure that a national sector is shaped to deliver efficient and effective education and associated health/care in a manner which complements Local Authority provision and reflects Best Value
For further information, please see the Review's Terms of Reference