Chapter 1 Summary of the Additional Support for Learning Act
1. Chapter 1 summarises the main provisions of the Act. Q2 asked "Is the information provided in Chapter 1 appropriate? If you selected no, please provide details of additional information which should be included or removed and a brief reason for it."
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2. Again, reflecting the overall percentage of consultation responses, comments were mainly positive, for example, "Information in this chapter was easily read and layout to ensure reader was given a clear information on ASN Definition and functions and duties of LAs."
3. A number of suggestions for amendments were made. These included that the Autism toolbox should be referred to. This has now been included in Chapter 7.
4. Chapter 1 includes a list of examples of reasons why a child or young person may require additional support. The list is illustrative and as is stated, it is not intended to be exhaustive. A fundamental requirement of the Act include is that individuals needs should be considered by professionals. As part of the revision of the Code some amendments were made to this list. During consultation a number of requests for further additions to the list were made, although these were not agreed to, wherever possible alternative arrangements were made. These include:
- Having a Parent (s) with a learning disability. A link to the Scottish Good Practice Guidelines for Supporting Parents with Learning Disabilities  has been added to chapter 7, Working with Children and Families.
- Including trauma. Chapter 2, Additional Support Needs, mentions that Social and emotional factors may also give rise to a need for additional support. It is now mentioned within this section that a child who has had Adverse Childhood Experiences may also benefit from additional support to overcome barriers to their learning.
- Including Autism. There are mentions throughout the Code of how Autism can be an example of an additional support need. For example in chapter 2, when explaining how additional support may be provided, it includes, "a particular approach to learning and teaching: for example, as used with children and young people with autism spectrum disorders."
- Speech and Language. Speech and Language difficulties are noted as an example of an additional support need in the Code. For example in Chapter 2 an example of additional support includes: "a communication programme drawn up by a speech and language therapist and teacher for implementation in the classroom."
5. One response stated that it should be included that there is an entitlement to additional support if a child or young person has a mental health problem. Mental health problems are cited as an example of a possible need for additional support, for example in Chapter 5, Co-ordinated Support Plans it states , "Mental health and wellbeing issues such as anxiety, eating disorders and depression can disrupt learning and may lead to additional support being required, for example from child and adolescent mental health services ( CAMHS), or local counselling services to ensure benefit from school education." In addition, information within the Code on Mental Health has been updated since the consultation. Details on the Scottish Government's new Mental Health Strategy (2017) are now included.
6. Further clarification around the assessment of capacity and consideration of wellbeing was required, following comments from approximately 8 respondents, in relation to this chapter. Subsequently, this has been expanded and also signposts to forthcoming non-statutory guidance on extended children's rights.