Additional support for learning funding cut by 11 per cent since 2012
Children identified as needing additonal support for learning increasing while spending on support being cut
School work - Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire
Council spending on Additional Support for Learning in schools has dropped by 11 per cent since 2012.
The average spend in Scotland per pupil has been cut from £4,276 in 2012/13 to £3,817 in 2015/16.
This is despite a growing number of children being identified with additional support needs and a statutory requirement on councils to provide it.
The number of children identified as needing additional support for learning has increased by 44 per cent in the same period, while the number of specialist support teachers in local authority primary and secondary schools has fallen by 16 per cent.
The Scottish Government figures have been highlighted by an alliance of private and charity service providers, the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.
Some local authorities have seen a bigger cut, notably Angus, where spending on additional support for learning has dropped 71 per cent.
Kenny Graham from Falkland House School, a member of the SCSC said: “Councils are facing a difficult financial environment, but they play an absolutely vital role in meeting the additional support needs of children and young people.
“We urge incoming council administrations to work with the Scottish Government and put children and young people with ASN at the very heart of their policy commitments and look for them to increase funding for this group.”
Scottish Labour inequalities spokesperson Monica Lennon said: “It is unacceptable that there has been an 11 per cent cut in Additional Support for Learning spend per pupil since 2012/13. Since the SNP came to power there are over 4,000 fewer teachers and 1,000 fewer support staff. How many more cuts can our schools take?”
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