CAMPAIGNERS have warned that there is a lack of specialist teachers, support staff and resources to support children and young people in schools with additional support needs (ASN).

Figures released by the Scottish Government on Tuesday showed the number of pupils with ASN, such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems, reached a record high of 259,036 in 2023, representing 36.7% of the pupil population.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (SCSC) said this represents a doubling in numbers over the past decade, as the 2013 figures showed 131,593 children had additional support needs.

The body called for an increase in resources to address the growing need which they say is having an impact on disruption and violence in the classroom.

There is a “lack of specialist ASN teachers, support staff and the resources needed” to support the rising number of children with additional support needs, SCSC said.

Concerns have also been raised over a declining number of pupils with complex needs receiving a co-ordinated support plan (CSP), despite reassurances from the Scottish Government that there would be no decline in the number of those receiving them.

CSPs are statutory education plans prepared by local authorities to identify and ensure the provision of services for children and young people with complex or additional support needs.

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