ASN Interim Update
An interim update on the development of a new model to assess needs and allocate resource for Additional Support Needs will be reported to the Council’s Education Committee on Thursday.
The work being carried out is to ensure the Council has a delivery model in place which is agile and flexible to meeting the needs of young people and provides stability for staff.
The approach to meeting the needs of children and young people with ASN is a significant element of the Council’s inclusion agenda, enabling young people to remain in their communities and access mainstream education.
The interim report reflects engagement with key stakeholders and concerns and questions will now shape the thinking going forward. Engagement on the allocation model has revealed that there is considerable bureaucracy involved in assessments. The recognition of wellbeing and inclusion are key factors to be taken into account.
Savings approved by The Highland Council in February 2019 for 19/20 have been made with further future savings due, as agreed in 2019. It is recognised through the engagement process, that more time is needed to implement the changes required and put in place appropriate training and support for staff. Plans are also underway to develop enhanced mental health and counselling resources in schools.
The new assessment model will be developed over the coming weeks and presented to committee in May for approval prior to implementation for the school year 2020-21.
Chair of the Education Committee, Councillor John Finlayson said:
“Whatever model we agree has to support children, families and schools and there needs to be recognition that while a consistent and fair approach must be implemented across Highland, we must also build in flexibility and contingency to ensure we can meet needs when things change at local level or additional support is required. Our response to ASN has to be needs led and must include input and ongoing evaluation involving all stakeholders, demonstrating improvement in attainment for all our young people.”