Scottish pupils now have the most rights in Europe when it comes to their entitlement to ask for support in school and be involved in decisions about their education.
Amendments to Scotland’s Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 come in to force today, extending rights to children aged 12-15 that were previously only available to their parents or carers.
Now, when children reach their 12th birthday, they will have the right to ask their school or local authority to find out if they need extra support; have a say in plans made about the support they may get; advocacy to ensure their views are shared and taken into account and legal representation at tribunals; and be actively involved in resolving disagreements about their support
A new children’s service called My Rights My Say has also been created in Scotland to make sure children know about and understand their rights and are able to access advocacy and legal representation where needed.
The news comes, however, amid concerns that spending to support children with additional support needs (ASN) in school has been slashed in recent years, at the same time as numbers are rising.