Word Meanings

Additional Support Needs - the reasons why children or young persons are not able to benefit from school education, without additional support.

Additional support may be needed for a child or young person who:

• are looked after or care experienced
• have motor or sensory impairments
• have a mental health problem, such as anorexia nervosa
• are being bullied
• are particularly talented
• have a learning disability, such as Down’s Syndrome
• have a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia
• are living with parents who are abusing substances
• have emotional or social difficulties
• are young carers

ASN Tribunal - the Additional Support Needs jurisdiction within the Health and Education Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland

ASN tribunal – the 3 people who will consider a claim or reference and make a decision – one will be a convener who is an experienced lawyer and the other two are specialist members, with expertise in education, social work or health. 

The tribunal has nothing to do with your school, social work, education authority or the NHS.

Capacity - this means the legal ability to do something. 

The tribunal will look at what a 12-15 year old wants to happen and take into account his or her level of maturity and understanding before making a decision about their capacity.

If they have any communication difficulties that can be helped by an aid, then that difficulty will not mean they lack capacity.

Case Officer – a member of staff who provides administrative support to the Tribunal.  The case officer is not a tribunal member.  The case officer will be your contact at the Tribunal.

Claim – an appeal to the Tribunal that an education authority or trustees have discriminated against a person because of a disability.

Code of Practice - The code of practice, known as the Supporting Children’s Learning Statutory Guidance on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act 2004 (as amended) Code of Practice (Third Edition) 2017 is a document published by the Scottish Government giving guidance to Education Authorities and other agencies on how to use the functions given to them by the 2004 Act. It provides more detail than the legislation and is designed to achieve consistency of delivery among Scotland’s 32 Education Authorities.

Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) - a legal plan the education authority must put in place for the child or young person’s education if he or she has complex additional support needs that are likely to last for more than 1 year and that need a great deal of support from outside the education department, for example from the NHS or the social work department.

Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 – law made by the Scottish Parliament. This law created the ASN Tribunal and the appeal to the ASN Tribunal which is called ‘a reference’.  Education authorities have legal duties under this law for children and young people with additional support needs.

Education Authority - is the local authority (Council) who is responsible for the child or young person’s education.  This will usually be the Council for where you live.

Hearing – a legal meeting where a tribunal listens to evidence from witnesses and hears legal arguments from representatives before it comes to a legal decision.

A Tribunal hearing does NOT take place in a court.

The President has issued Information Note No 01/2018 to assist those who attend a tribunal hearing in providing an impression of what the proceedings will be likely to involve.

Independent Advocate – a person who supports a child or young person to give their views.

They are called ‘independent’ because they are not part of the Tribunal or the education authority and have no personal interest in the dispute.

They are called ‘advocates’ because they can speak on the child or young person’s behalf.

Legal Member - a legally qualified person who chairs the hearing.

Parent – this is usually the child or young person’s mum or dad.  The law says that this can also include any guardian and any person who has parental responsibilities, for example a grandparent.

Physical or mental impairment - something that makes it difficult for the child or young person to carry out ordinary day to day activities without extra help or adjustments.  This could include conditions like cerebral palsy or autism.

Reference – an appeal about a decision or failure to do with a co-ordinated support plan, or placing request; or a failure to provide or seek information at transition by the education authority responsible for the school education of the child; or an appeal against the education authority’s decision about the child’s capacity or wellbeing.

Responsible Body - the organisation that is responsible for any discrimination against a child or young person. 

If the child or young person attends a local authority (Council) school then it will be the education authority (Council) responsible for the school.  If the child or young person attends a private or independent school then it will be the owners of the school.

Specialist Members - individuals with knowledge and experience of children or young people with additional support needs.  There will be two members at each hearing who, together with the legal member, question, deliberate and come to a decision about the matter in dispute.  Members are appointed from the fields of education, health and social work.

Trustees - the people who are responsible for managing a private or independent school.  This means a school not run by a Council.

Wellbeing - the law says this means assessing how safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included a child or young person is.

Young Person - a person aged 16 and above who remains in school education.

Needs to Learn

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If you're 12 to 15, have additional support needs and want to make a change to your school education, then yes you are.