New stats on additional support needs in Argyll and Bute schools

New figures have been published showing the number of pupils with additional support needs in Argyll and Bute's schools.
New figures have been published showing the number of pupils with additional support needs in Argyll and Bute's schools.

Argyll and Bute has a lower percentage of pupils with additional support needs than the Scottish average, according to figures released by the local council this week.

But the area has a higher percentage of pupils with co-ordinated support plans (CSPs) or individualised education plans (IEPs) than the country-wide rate - and more pupils who have been assessed or declared disabled.

According to a report for Argyll and Bute Council’s community services committee, of 10,713 pupils on the school roll in the area, 1,817 - or 16.9 per cent - have additional support needs, compared to a national figure of 19.5 per cent.

But the percentage of those 1,817 with CSPs stands at 5.5 per cent, and for IEPs the share is 52.3 per cent - compared to national figures of 2.5 and 30.5 per cent respectively.

In addition, almost one in three - 30.9 per cent - of those 1,817 Argyll and Bute pupils have been assessed or declared disabled; the national figure is 11.8 per cent.

By contrast, 39 per cent of those pupils with ASNs in Argyll and Bute are classified as having ‘other support needs’, against a national rate of 71.5 per cent.

The information is contained in a paper updating the committee on the implementation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, which provides the legal framework for the provision of additional support for learning in Scotland and is structured around the concept of support being needed for any reason, and for short or long term periods determined by the individual learning needs of the child or young person.

The report states: “Ten years on from the implementation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, the council’s education service is providing a higher percentage of ASN pupils with formal support plans in comparison to the national figure.

“Work within Argyll and Bute is underway to review the way we support pupils with additional needs in order to ensure the best possible provision is in place to meet the needs of learners.”