Additional Support Needs

An important part of the Scottish approach is the recognition that all children and young people are different and that to enable them to reach their full potential some will need additional support.

In Scotland, the term ‘Additional Support Needs’ (ASN) does not mean the same as the term ‘Special Educational Needs’ (SEN) does in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ASN has a much broader definition: providing support on both a short or long term basis, depending on the needs of the individual child.

Any child or young person in Scotland who needs extra or a different sort of support with their learning is considered to have an Additional Support Need, and you don’t need a formal diagnosis to get extra support.

Every child is different and may have different additional support needs, for different reasons, and at different times in their school education.

There are lots of reasons why a child might need extra help. Some examples might be: a physical or sensory difficulty, social or emotional reasons, moving house frequently, being bullied or bereavement in the family.

A child or young person’s additional support needs might last for a short time and require the sort of support a school can easily arrange or they might be complicated, long-lasting and need help from a number of professionals all working together. The support will come from educators within the school but also might involve external healthcare professionals, social workers, or some voluntary groups.

What to do if your child requires additional support

If you know your child has additional support needs it is imperative you find and contact a school as soon as you know you are moving to Scotland.

In Scotland, every attempt is made to address additional support needs within the mainstream school system. There are a limited number of special schools available for some children but wherever possible we try to give our children the additional support they need within the mainstream school environment.

Even if you know where you are going to be posted but don’t have an address you should still contact us. Contact details for every Local Authority can be found on the bases page here.

Statements of Need

We don’t use Statements of Need in Scotland but if your child has a current Statement of Need that documentation, along with other supporting material, will be valuable to Scottish educators in assessing how best they can provide support for your child.

Further assessments for the identification of a need which is already formalised (eg. dyslexia) should not be required however, additional monitoring and assessment within the curriculum may take place as needed.