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Call for evidence on the education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) bill

Call for evidence on the education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) bill

News Release issued by The Scottish Parliament on 15 October 2008

Changes to out-of-area placing requests and additional support needs tribunals will be examined by the Scottish Parliament's Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee as part of its scrutiny of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill seeks to amend the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, which provides a framework for local authorities and other relevant agencies that provide services to children, who, for whatever reason, require additional support in their education.

These proposed amendments include extending opportunities for parents and young people to make out-of-area placing requests and facilitating their access to mediation and dispute resolution services. The bill also seeks to extend the jurisdiction of the Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland. This will allow a parent or young person to appeal a decision to refuse an out-of-area placing request.

Committee Convener Karen Whitefield MSP said:

"Many children in Scotland require additional support to benefit from education and realise their potential. It is the job of our committee to examine thoroughly the Government's bill to ensure the proposed measures will meet the needs of these young people."

Call for evidence
The committee would like to hear from individuals and organisations with an interest or personal experience in supporting children and young people with additional support needs. In addition to commenting on the general principles of the bill it would be helpful to the committee if interested parties could also consider the following questions:

* How helpful do you find the policy memorandum and financial memorandum accompanying the bill?

* Do you have any comments on the consultation the Scottish Government carried out prior to the introduction of the bill?

Background
The bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 6 October 2008 and referred to the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee by the Parliamentary Bureau on 7 October 2008. At Stage 1 a subject committee examines the general principles of a bill and reports to the Parliament. As part of this process a committee usually takes written and oral evidence from interested parties.

View Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

The committee's call for evidence can be viewed at this link:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/ellc/inquiries/asl%20bill/ASLcallforevidence.htm

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