Voice Official Response 1005: Consultation on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act - 2004 Amendment Bill 2008

Voice Scotland Official Response to Scottish Government consultation

OFFICIAL   RESPONSE

SUBJECT:  Consultation  on  the  Education  (Additional  Support  for  Learning)  (Scotland)  Act - 2004  Amendment Bill 2008 

REQUESTED  BY:    The  Scottish  Government

DATE  SENT:     17 June 2008

REF:  OR. 1005        

This response is made on behalf of, and in consultation with, the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) of Voice – the union for educational professionals  (formerly The Professional of Teachers Scotland). 

SEC determines union policy with regard to pay, conditions, and all other educational matters in Scotland. 

MAUREEN  LAING

Senior Professional Officer for Scotland

Voice the union for education professionals

1-3 St Colme Street,

Edinburgh EH3 6AA

Tel: 0131 220 8241   

e-mail: scotland@voicetheunion.org.uk

www.voicetheunion.org.uk

 

RESPONDENT INFORMATION FORM

Q1. Should the ASL Act legislation relating to an Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland’s  (ASNTS’s) jurisdiction regarding placing requests be amended to allow an ASNTS to consider any placing request appeal where a co-ordinated support plan (CSP) is involved or is being considered, at any time before the final determination by the appeal committee or sheriff? 

Yes 

Additional comments:  -

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Q2. Can you foresee any problems with amending the legislation as suggested in Q1 above? If so, what are they?

No problems that cannot be resolved.

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Q3. Do you agree that the parents of children with additional support needs ( ASN), with or without CSPs, should have the same rights in respect of making out of area placing requests as parents of children without ASN

Yes 

Additional comments:

Yes, this is only fair and equitable.

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Q4. If you do not agree with Q3 above, why not?   -

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Q5. Are you content that in instances where a CSP is involved or is being considered, a decision to refuse an out of area placing request should be referred to an ASNTS

Yes

Additional comments: -

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Q6. Do you agree that in instances where a child or young person is attending a school outwith his/her home authority area, as a result of a placing request, responsibility for providing mediation and dispute resolution should rest with the host authority? 

Yes 

Additional comments:

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Q7. In the situation described in Q6 above, do you agree that a contribution in respect of a host authority’s provision to parents or young people of mediation or dispute resolution services should not be recoverable from the home authority under section 23(2) of the Education Scotland Act 1980? 

Yes 

Additional comments: -

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Q8. Do you think that the CSP process would be streamlined by amending the legislation to provide that, following the acceptance of an out of area placing request for a child/young person who has a CSP, the host authority assumes responsibility for reviewing the CSP, and that such a review should be conducted immediately? 

Yes 

Additional comments:

Although this seems logical, it may well lead to authorities becoming reluctant to accept pupils from other areas because of the workload implications.

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Q9. In relation to the situation described in Q8 above, do you agree that the best time for the transfer of education authority responsibility to take place is at the time the child starts at the new school?

Yes 

Additional comments: -

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Q10. Should the ASL Act legislation be amended to allow references to an ASNTS regarding the following education authority failures?:

  • Under section 6(2)(b) of the ASL Act, a parent or young person requests the education authority to establish whether a CSP is required and the education authority simply fails to acknowledge his/her request.

Yes 

Additional comments:  -

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Under section 11(2)(a) of the ASL Act, the education authority has issued its proposal to establish whether a child or young person requires, or would require, a CSP but fails to decide either way. 

Yes 

Additional comments:

This would serve to tighten up procedures.

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Q11. Should a new ASNTS document based process be introduced to expedite those references in which an education authority has failed to meet a relevant timescales? 

Yes 

Additional comments: -

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Q12. Are you content for an ASNTS to be given the power to review its decisions? 

Yes 

Additional comments:

This seems logical and appropriate.

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Q13. Do you agree that the legislation should be amended to allow a breach of a restricted reporting order under paragraph 11(2)(n) of Schedule 1, or an award of expenses under paragraph 11(2)(s) of Schedule 1, to be enforced

Yes

Additional comments:  -

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Views and suggestions relating to any aspect of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and the Amendment Bill 2008: 

Most of the proposals seem very sensible and serve to tidy up the earlier Act.  One main area of concern would be the responsibility for pupils placed in another authority’s area seems to transfer completely to the host authority.  The work and cost could be important factors and as a result far fewer placing requests outwith the home authority may be granted.  This could be detrimental for pupils as they may not be placed where their needs are best met.

 

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