Scottish Government
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Help at hand for pupils and parents

A new national campaign has been launched to encourage and empower parents to find out about the help available to support children through difficult periods in life.

The Just Ask campaign aims to raise awareness of the rights of parents to ask for additional support when something is affecting their child's learning. Children may not be reaching their full potential due to a diverse range of issues and the situations that lead to pupils needing extra help can also include many social and emotional factors.

The initiative seeks to highlight the help available, from issues arising through bullying and dyslexia through to family bereavement and coping with divorce - or any other situation that might impact on a pupils' learning.

The campaign, which starts today, will encourage parents to 'just ask' either their local school or Enquire, the national advice line on additional support issues.

Launching Just Ask, Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years, said:

"There are many reasons why young people might struggle with their learning - from conditions such as dyslexia and autism through to circumstances often beyond a child's control, including bereavement and divorce. Thankfully, there is a wide range of support that schools, councils and charities provide - just at the point that a child or young person may need it.

"Sometimes children are not able to ask for help themselves. That's why the Just Ask campaign is encouraging parents to stop and think about what issues might be affecting their child's learning and the key role that they, as parents, have in helping their child to get the extra help they need.

"All children deserve the opportunity to learn and develop and to receive additional support when they need it. This campaign will build awareness of the support available to make sure this happens."

The Just Ask campaign will encourage parents to visit the Just Ask website and to find out about the services available through the advice service Enquire. Just Ask will run from November 2 until March 28, 2010.

The campaign covers a wide range of issues, including: divorce, bullying, bereavement, young carers, dyslexia, diabetes, autism, illness, visual impairment, physical or learning difficulties, gifted children, falling behind in class, exams, reading or spelling problems, language difficulties, missing classes, making friends, teenage pregnancy, looked after children, and parents in the armed forces.

The campaign consists of a range of infomercials running on STV and within the daily 'magazine show' The Hour, supported by the micro site www.stv.tv/justask. Just Ask will also tour the country using field marketing, supported by wider media coverage.

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