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All parents want their children to feel confident, have friends, learn and enjoy their school experience. For a lot of children this happens, and school is a positive part of their life but for some children school can be a struggle.
In Scotland we are fortunate as there is a law called the Additional Support for Learning Act that was created to make sure all children get the help they need in school. There is also a national service called Enquire, to help parents and carers understand what this law means for their family and to provide advice on how they can make sure their child’s additional support needs are met.
Cat Thomson, Enquire’s Partnerships Manager explains how Enquire can help families. “We can explain children’s rights to support in school but also help families to understand education language and how to work with their child’s school to get support in place. The term ‘additional support needs’ itself can be confusing for parents. Many think it applies only to children with long-term learning difficulties or disabilities, but children can need support for lots of reasons – if they learn differently, are being bullied, are anxious or finding it difficult to cope in class, have moved schools a lot, suffered a family bereavement or are looked after away from home. We have a series of guides and factsheets explaining different aspects of additional support for learning and a telephone helpline for families who prefer to talk to somebody about their questions or concerns.
We know from calls to the helpline that getting the right information at the right time is so important to families. Here’s what one parent felt after contacting Enquire:
“Enquire helped me see a way through and to feel less anxious and confused about how best to help my daughter in terms of getting an assessment and support."
Check out this handy infographic explaining some of issues Enquire can provide advice and information about.
To contact Enquire call 0345 123 2303, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.enquire.org.uk (Enquire online advice and information is available in 102 languages. Click Accessibility tools on the website.)
Enquire also has lots of advice for children and young people finding school tough at www.reach.scot.
Other articles published in our December 2019 newsletter
Other articles about additional support needs: