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Support for young people
The creation of a new additional support needs national advocacy service was announced today.
Barnardo's Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Child Law Centre have been awarded the contract to provide free lay and legal advice to families and young people who appeal to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (ASNTS) against education authorities' decisions regarding the provision of educational support, such as out of area placing requests.
Children's Minister Adam Ingram said:
"It is vital we ensure that young people with additional support needs are able to access the help and support that they need, especially when they are faced with the legal challenges of the tribunal process.
"I am confident that with partners like Barnardo's Scotland and the Scottish Child Law Centre we will see a consistent, high quality service delivered throughout the country."
The decision follows a robust selection process which received a number of tenders from a range of voluntary sector organisations.
Until now a free advocacy service has been provided on a temporary basis by parent's group ISEA. Today's announcement, which includes an annual grant of up to £100,000, secures the future of the service.
SallyAnn Kelly, Head of Children's Operations for Barnardo's Scotland, said:
"We are delighted to have been awarded the National Advocacy Service. This is an essential service for children with additional needs. We have developed an excellent working relationship with the Scottish Child Law Centre who will partner us in the delivery of this service.
"We look forward to delivering support to children and families across each of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland."
Morag Driscoll, Director, Scottish Child Law Centre, said:
"The Scottish Child Law Centre is delighted to have this opportunity to work with Barnardo's Scotland to deliver this important service to children and families in Scotland. This new service will be able to provide a consistent and high standard of service throughout the country."
Additional support needs is a broad and inclusive term which applies to children and young people who, for whatever reason, require additional support, long or short term, in order to make the most of their education. Children or young people may require additional support for a variety of reasons such as: if they have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia; have a learning disability; are looked after; have English as an additional language; are young carers or have emotional or social difficulties.