The Additional Support for Learning Act 2004
The Additional Support for Learning Act 2004 is a piece of Scottish legislation designed to ensure that children with additional support needs have these catered for within the education system. This is a new piece of legislation that only came into force in November 2005 and it gives parents new rights to request that their child's school put in place assessment and assistance programs to ensure dyslexic children receive the same learning opportunities as their peers.

The Act covers all children with additional support needs and has a wide coverage of issues, but there are a number of areas relevant for parents of dyslexic children. The Act gives parents the right to:
  • request a school or educational authority to
    find out if their child has additional support needs
  • request a school or educational authority to
    have a full psychological assessment for dyslexia carried out on their child (where they have evidence that this may be necessary)
  • be informed of the outcome of these requests
  • have their views as to their child's welfare taken into account
  • make a placing request to have their child access another school that has appropriate support for their child

Under the Act an educational authority must:

  • put in place appropriate support and assistance for each child with additional support needs
  • put in place arrangements to identify additional support needs
  • take account of the views of parents
  • take account of any relevant advice from outside agencies or organisations

These are the parts of the Act relevant to dyslexic children. However, the Act covers any and all additional support needs and as such has numerous other clauses.

Parents wishing to make a request of their child's school or educational authority must make that request in writing. In the event that a parent is unhappy with the response from a school or educational authority they have the right to access independent mediation services to resolve any issues they may have.

To find out more about the Additional Support for Learning Act you can visit the Enquire website, or can download the Scottish Executive's information leaflet by clicking here.