Additional support

Request an assessment

Parents have the right to request an assessment to establish whether their child has additional support needs and what those needs might be. Young people have a similar right to request an assessment for themselves.

This right to request an assessment is part of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 and 2009.

How can I get an assessment?

You can request a specific type of assessment at any time, such as:

  • educational
  • psychological
  • medical

The request must be in writing or in another permanent form which can be referred to in future, such as video or audio tape, and should contain a statement of the reasons for the request.

You can't request that the assessment be carried out by a particular person or organisation

Co-ordinated Support Plan

You can also request an assessment for a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP). This is a legal document which plans the support needed by a child or young person with a high level of need requiring multiple agencies to work together.

Others who can request an assessment

A school or teacher, or another service provider might also identify a child who may need an assessment for additional support.

Health care services are particularly important in identifying support needs in very young children, who may not have begun formal schooling. In this case the school or health worker would discuss with you why they feel an assessment would be a good idea for your child. It will be your decision as to whether or not you want an assessment to be carried out.

Assessment process

The assessment process will vary for each child. It may include:

  • observation in the classroom
  • simple tests
  • discussions with other service providers such as physiotherapists or speech and language therapists

You will always be told how the assessment will be carried out and what the results are.

What happens if a request for an assessment is declined?

We have the right to decline to assess a child if the request is unreasonable, for example where carrying out an assessment may:

  • not be in the best interests of the child or young person
  • not be seen as being relevant given the child's or young person's circumstances
  • be unnecessary as there has not been a significant change in the child's or young person's circumstances since an earlier assessment was completed
  • be within an inappropriate timescale, for example falling within a short time of a previous request
  • repeat assessments already carried out

If you are unhappy with the decision not to carry out an assessment, or the results of an assessment, we provide a free independent mediation and dispute resolution service.

The Additional Needs Tribunal

You also have the right to refer the decision to the Additional Needs Tribunal. We would always urge parents, carers and young people to tell us of their concerns and work with us to find a solution together.

Find out more

If you have concerns about your child's progress in school you should always speak to your child's class teacher or Headteacher in the first instance. All our schools have a CSP Co-ordinator who can offer specific advice.

Where can I get independent advice?

Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning, provides a great deal of additional information, advice and support to parents and carers, including a range of helpful information sheets.