UK (Scotland) - Country Background Information

Describing the forms of education in the country

The EASIE data collection covers all recognised forms of education at ISCED levels 02, 1, 2 and 3.

This means any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector: municipality, local or regional educational provider from the public or private sector, working with/for ministries responsible for education and areas such as health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.

What is the compulsory education age range in the country?

The compulsory education age range is 5–16 years.  Children have access to pre-school education from 3–5 years, and can continue in school until the age of 18. These are optional.

What are the typical age ranges for the ISCED levels?

ISCED LEVEL 02 ISCED LEVEL 1 ISCED LEVEL 2 ISCED LEVEL 3
3–5 5–11 12-15 16-18
Is private sector education covered by the data provided for the country?
No
Is recognised public or private education organised by sectors other than education (i.e. health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.) in the data provided for the country?
No
Are there recognised forms of alternative education covered by the data provided for the country?
No
Are there recognised forms of home schooling covered by the data provided for the country?
No
Identifying an ‘inclusive setting’ in the country

In the EASIE data collection, an inclusive setting is operationally defined as:

A recognised form of education where the child/learner follows education in mainstream classes alongside their peers for the largest part – 80% or more – of the school week.

The 80% time placement benchmark clearly indicates that a child/learner is educated in a mainstream class for the majority of their school week. At the same time, it acknowledges possibilities for small group or one-to-one withdrawal for limited periods of time (i.e. 20% or one day a week).

Very few participating countries can provide exact data on children/learners spending 80% of their time in a mainstream group/class. However, all countries can apply one of three agreed proxies that provide an approximation to this benchmark:

  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 80% or more
  • Data is available on the number of hours of support allocated to a child/learner
  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 50% or more.
Are you able to provide actual data to verify the 80% placement benchmark?
Yes
What an ‘official decision of SEN’ means in the country

In the EASIE data collection, the agreed operational definition is:

An official decision leads to a child/learner being recognised as eligible for additional educational support to meet their learning needs.

Countries may have different types of official decision, but for all official decisions:

  • There has been some form of educational assessment procedure involving different people. This procedure may involve the child/learner, parents, school-based team members, as well as professionals from multi-disciplinary teams from outside the child’s/learner’s (pre-)school.
  • There is some form of legal document (plan/programme, etc.) that describes the support the child/learner is eligible to receive, which is used as the basis for decision-making.
  • There is some form of regular review process of the child/learner’s needs, progress and support.
Please describe what an ‘official decision’ is in the country.

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, as amended by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009, imposed certain duties on Scotland’s Education Authorities (EAs) – the 32 local council areas responsible for the provision of statutory education in Scotland.

The 2004 Act requires that EAs:

  • identify and assess children and young people with additional support needs;
  • provide the additional support required for each child or young person with additional support needs for whose education they are responsible, subject to certain exceptions;
  • review the additional support needs identified and the adequacy of support provided to meet the needs of each child or young person;
  • prepare a co-ordinated support plan for those children or young people who meet certain criteria and keep this plan under regular review.

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended) states that:

  • a child or young person has additional support needs for the purposes of this Act where, for whatever reason, the child or young person is, or is likely to be, unable without the provision of additional support to benefit from school education.

Also:

  • a child or young person has additional support needs if the child or young person is looked after by a local authority (within the meaning of section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995).

This ceases to apply once the local authority has assessed the pupil and has concluded they can benefit from education without the provision of additional support.

Supporting Children’s Learning Code of Practice, the statutory guidance which accompanies the Act, explains that a range of factors may give rise to a pupil’s additional support needs. These include the pupil’s learning environment, social and emotional factors, health and disability and the pupil’s family circumstances. Inclusion in the above list does not mean that additional support is automatically necessary. Every child is seen as an individual and what affects one child may not affect another. Additional support needs may be short- or long-term.

The Act places a duty on education authorities (EAs) to identify pupils with additional support needs and those who may require a co-ordinated support plan. Under the Act, a parent also has the right to ask an EA to consider whether their child has additional support needs and whether they might require a co-ordinated support plan. 

What educational assessment procedures are carried out and who is involved?

A multi-disciplinary assessment will be made. The agencies involved depend on the child’s needs. Those involved will not therefore be same for all children.

EAs draw up co-ordinated support plans if they are responsible for the education of a pupil who:

  • needs support due to complex or multiple factors that adversely and significantly affect their school education;
  • has needs that are likely to last for more than a year;
  • needs significant additional support from the EA and another department of the local authority (such as social work services) or another agency such as a health board, or both, to reach their educational objectives.

The support plans are statutory and co-ordinate and record the support to be provided. The plans have specific rights attached to them.

What formal, regular review processes of a child/learner’s needs, progress and support are linked to an official decision?

A child will be reviewed at key transition points.  A formal review will take place if a child’s needs change.  

What ‘out-of-education’ means in the country

Within the EASIE data collection, specific questions examine children/learners who are out of education. This means children/learners who should, by law, be in some form of recognised education, but who are out of any form of recognised education. A recognised form of education is any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector.

Is there a formal definition of ‘out-of-education’ in the country?
No