Additional Support Needs (ASN)
Information for parents
Moving on to school can be both exciting and challenging - for children and also for their parents. Staff who work with your child in nursery or in other early learning and childcare settings will try to make sure that your child's move to school is a positive experience in many ways - for example by:
- talking about any concerns you may have
- passing on any information you wish the school to know
- giving your child the chance to visit the school and get to know the staff
- encouraging school staff to visit the early learning and childcare setting
- involving specialist staff from other agencies (e.g. speech and language therapist) where appropriate
The school will build on your child's experiences and work to meet their additional support needs. Parents can ask to see the early learning and childcare provider's transition policy as each setting varies. You might also like to see a copy of the Early Stage Transition leaflet - PDF (573Kb)
Every child and young person is entitled to support in two ways. First, the ongoing, day-to-day help of teachers, lecturers and staff. This should be caring and inclusive as a matter of course. Second, additional support is available to all who need it. This is tailored to individual need to overcome any barriers to learning. There are many additional support staff working in schools to help children achieve their fullest potential.
In School Support:
- Supervisory assistants
- Learning Support Workers and Assistants who are appointed to schools to ensure they can support pupils with the most complex and challenging need
- Experienced classroom/Subject teachers for whom additional training is available
It is the schools responsibility to organise how their staff are used to support pupils. The pupils with the most severe difficulties clearly will require the most support. However, many other children benefit from additional support staff in schools.
Support from outwith school (Central Staff):
- Quality Improvement Officer for Children & Young People with Additional Support Needs, Lesley Simpson
- Principal teacher of Vision, Freda Leask
- Home-Link teacher, Helen Tait
- Principal Educational Psychologist, Rhonda Simpson
- Educational Psychologist, Vacant
For all enquiries about additional support needs, please discuss first with the Head Teacher or principal of your child's school or nursery. If you require further information, please contact, Lesley Simpson, Quality Improvement Officer for Children & Young People with Additional Support Needs on 01595 744024.
What information and support is available outwith education to support families whose children have additional support needs?
For information and contact details about Health Services for children and young people in Shetland, please click on the NHS Shetland link below:
For information about organisations in Shetland, including Disability Shetland and Advocacy Shetland, please go to the link below:
Shetland Special Needs Action Group (SSNAG) aims to make a difference and give a voice to individuals and families living with Additional Support Needs. For more information and to contact them, please go to:
For information on organisations that support families with disabled children, together with medical information, please go to the link below:
For information on self-directed support for children, young people and families please viit:
Your child's Head teacher will know how best to contact central staff but you may wish to contact them directly - in which case see the leaflet "Helping Your Child Learn".
Schools may also use occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and the clinical psychologist who work for NHS Shetland but support some young people in the schools setting.
For Information about how the SIC meets pupils' Additional Support Needs please see the following document: ASN Needs - (129KB Pdf)
Information can be found at the following websites:
Enquire www.enquire org.uk
The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance www.siaa.org.uk
The Scottish Child Law Centre www.sclc.org.uk
Enquire is the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning
Operated by Children in Scotland, Enquire offers independent, confidential advice and information on additional support and learning through.
- telephone helpline - 0845 123 2303
- email enquiry service -firstname.lastname@example.org
- two websites - www.enquire.org.uk (for parents/carers and practitioners) and www.enquire.org.uk/yp (for children and young people)
Enquire also provide a wide range of clear and easy-to-read guides and factsheets explaining everything from 'additional support in the early years' to 'what planning should take place for moving on from school'.
See The Parents' Guide to Additional Support for Learning
Guide for children and young people unable to attend school:
Guide for children and young people who are looked after
Q. What information for young people with Additional Support Needs moving out of school is available?
General transition leaflets:
Preparing for adult life and transition - Scotland
Applying to further education
Disabled Young People Moving Out of School
Leaving School Factsheet
Getting ready to leave School
For information on GIRFEC and the GIRFEC Child’s Plan
Parents/Carers have the right to:
- information and advice about your child's additional support needs
- have your views considered and be involved in decision-making about your child/young person's education and the support they receive to meet their additional support needs.
- have a supporter or advocate with you at any discussions or meetings with Schools Service staff when your child's additional support needs are being discussed.
- ask for a specific assessment of your child's additional support needs, such as an educational, psychological or medical assessment, at any time
- If the child is 16 years old or over, they have the same rights as those listed above.
- Anyone (parents, the school, or the Children's Services) involved in a disagreement to do with additional support needs in education can ask for mediation at any stage. There is no charge to parents. More information is available in the documents below.
Shetland schools offer a wide range of support to help children learn. This could include some of the following:
- adapted work to suit their ability
- time with ASN staff (teacher or auxiliary)
- assistance from a speech and language therapist
- change of working space - for example, use of a time-out room
- meetings to discuss individual learning plans
- "buddy" support from an older pupil
- use of equipment - such as a laptop or tape recorder
- staff who are trained in specific difficulties your child may have
- Schools staff provide support which is designed to meet your child's individual needs.
Transport Requests for pupils with Additional Support Needs.
If you wish to request school transport arrangements for the next school session which are additional or different to those provided, please complete the form below and return it to:
Heather Summers, Children's Services, Hayfield House, Hayfield Lane, Lerwick, ZE1 0QD.
Information from Enquire on authority responsibility around transport provision:
Identification, Assessment, Monitoring and Review of Additional Support Needs
- Identification, Assessment, Monitoring and Review of Additional Support Needs
- Stages of Intervention
Additional Support for Learning legislation information for parents
Please click here to access the latest information
Shetland Islands Council Schools Service Policy Statement
Autistic Spectrum Disorder Policy
The link below gives information about the Scottish Government Strategy for Autism, which is used by this authority:
All documents, leaflets and information contained on this page can be made available, on request, in braille or large font. Please contact:
For further information please contact: