Due to a recent definitional change, nearly 20 per cent of all pupils in Scotland are now assessed as having an “additional support need” (ASN) by the Scottish Government.
Once this only encompassed those with a significant support need; now a range of pupils, from those with minor behavioural issues all the way to those with complex disabilities, must be given additional support from their schools.
This has diluted resources to the point that many severely learning-disabled children and young people – those the Muir Maxwell Trust works with on a daily basis and the very group most in need of assistance – are in danger of being left behind.
The Scottish Government had a chance to rectify this situation with its most recent draft budget. Sadly, officials have ignored this burgeoning problem and promised no additional funds to help local authorities scope.
As schools buckle under the strain, those with severe learning disabilities are not necessarily getting the level of help they require to flourish.
The Scottish Government needs to step in and act immediately to end this state of affairs. We must give Scotland’s severely learning-disabled children and young people the proper level of support they so desperately need.
Muir Maxwell Trust